February 14th is a day in which we celebrate our romantic love. It’s an outward, external love for someone else. It celebrates a relationship you have cultivated with someone else.
Some people also celebrate Galentine’s Day, a day of recognizing your favorite girlfriends over champagne, yoga, and laughs. This is also an external love that you have for someone else.
But whatever happened to loving ourselves? When is that day? Why don’t we publicly celebrate that relationship?
The relationship we have with ourselves is often the most challenging relationship. Unlike all other relationships we have in our life, there is no one else involved. Only us. So what makes that so challenging?
There’s no one else to blame. There’s no one else to project our stuff on to. There’s no one else to fight with.
As negative as those three things sound, they can actually be quite helpful in solving problems. They give us clues as to what’s going on in our relationship, and with ourselves. When it’s our relationship with ourselves, we have to do all the “figuring it out” stuff internally. You know, when you’re literally having conversations with yourself in your head? That’s what I’m talking about.
And because this relationship with ourselves can be so challenging and deeply personal, we neglect to work on it.
I’ve been there too. Taking care of everyone else, but myself. Rushing around from work, to friends, to my child. Not even pausing long enough to breathe. I didn’t even recognize myself at times. It’s not that I literally couldn’t recognize myself in a mirror, I couldn’t recognize me - the inside part.
“What did I want in life? Who was I working so hard to please? And why?”
It’s easy to lose sight of the “big questions” about life and our purpose. But mine was a more intentional putting aside of those questions. I didn’t like the feelings it brought up when I asked them. The uncertainty those questions elicit freaked me out.
It was easier to focus on everyone else. It was easier to take care of everyone’s needs. It was easier to solve everyone else’s problems.
I coach leaders and business owners, creating solutions they need in their private and professional lives. What does that mean? I speak with some pretty powerful people on a daily basis. Not necessarily powerful in the sense of control over others or far-reaching influence. They harness the power to create what they want in their lives. They create the kinds of relationships they desire, they take action in their business to promote growth, and live with the integrity of the legacy they hope to establish.
When I first started this work, I knew how to listen; but I wasn’t the master of creating this kind of change in people’s lives. So that’s what I did, listen. I looked for patterns in what I was hearing, and it didn’t take long to watch them emerge. People had similar complaints about their lives - “I hate my job, I’m burnt out on my business, and my relationship needs serious help.” Those who were able to create positive changes in their lives had one thing in common - self-compassion.
They found love for themselves. They gave themselves a pass. They let themselves make mistakes. They confronted the hard stuff and lived to tell about it. The only way to experience any of that is through self-compassion.
It took many years (and honestly I’m still working on it!) to make self-compassion a daily part of my life. But it is the greatest gift I’ve ever given myself. With self-compassion, I’ve been able to connect to so many amazing people I would have otherwise been too threatened to connect to. With self-compassion, I got rid of the stuff I was doing that wasn’t enhancing my life. That’s right, you can say “sayonara” to stuff you don’t like doing. But only if you think you’re important enough to have what you really want.
This is how you become powerful. This is how you can have the best relationship with the most important person, yourself. This is how you love yourself.
3 quick tips to self-compassion:
Ask yourself “would I treat my best friend this way?”
Answer this: “will this be significant when I’m 85?”
Do something for yourself daily- even if it’s small.
Brittany Drozd helps success-oriented individuals create powerful relationships by offering them the strategies, tools, and support they need to experience greater purpose, fulfillment, and connection. Visit http://www.brittanydrozd.com for info on how to work with Brittany. In addition, Brittany is a fitness junkie, green juice connoisseur, and doting wife.
Photo by Death To The Stock Photo