As you think, you travel, and as you love, you attract. You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.  ~James Lane Allen

I am divinely, creatively, and lovingly present.

Namaste’ Fellow Travelers,

When considering the topic of relationships, my initial impulse was to focus on how I relate to others, which immediately skips over the most important person in all my relationships – me. Even into my late fifties, I barely acknowledged myself as an individual because I was so focused on how I thought the world saw me. Plus, I never truly examined why I did what I did because I was too busy monitoring other people’s expectations and reactions. In order to truly improve my relationships with others, I realized I had to first examine and understand how I relate to myself. The quality or ‘success’ of my relationships reflect how I feel about myself.

I love this quote: When you learn, from an early age, to fear, ignore, and suppress parts of your experience, you can only tell half the story. You remain an acquaintance to your reflection instead of an intimate friend. ~Vironika Tugaleva

This sentiment accurately describes the relationship I had with myself while growing up. I ardently believed that a good relationship resulted from finding someone to complete me. This meant someone who found me desirable, worthy, lovable, and deserving of their attention and affection. It did not matter what I thought of them. My intimate partnerships have always been about the other person, never about me or what I wanted. I was not good at establishing a balanced relationship because I immediately assumed a one-down role. If they wanted me surely that was enough.

A very basic yet powerful truth finally dawned on me when I realized my ability to chose is key to my relationship with myself. I chose the thoughts that dictate my words and actions. When interacting with others, it is easy to focus on what they are doing rather than remaining clear about what is driving and control my thoughts, words, and actions. Too often I found myself in reaction mode rather than checking in with my own desires.

Another powerful concept relating to my self-view in relationships is making sure my thoughts relate to the present moment. Under stress, fatigue, or habit it is all too easy for me to lapse back to childhood reactions, especially around some of my core beliefs. These often relate to my earliest relationships, and they too often trigger my most dysfunctional behaviors. I see those clearly in my early relationship with my father and how I later projected my desperate need for love and attention onto my intimate partners.

The final key element associated with this inner perspective is the Truth that there is a constant unconditional loving presence that always supports me. Awareness of this loving presence enhances my acceptance of the divinity that is flowing through me as me. Ultimately, my goal is to open myself to fully experience that relationship with my higher self, the spirit of God that moves within me.

After many failed attempts at finding the one person who would deem me worthy, I finally accepted the validation of my worthiness had to come from within. I grew up believing taking care of myself was selfish, self-indulgent, and wrong until I woke up to the fact that I was the only one who could effectively assume this job. Expecting others to take on that job was unfair to them and to me. Currently, my focus on relationships is all about taking care of myself and learning to practice extreme self-care. In other words, I have realized I must genuinely fall in love with myself.

My greatest take-away from writing Too Much Gold was concluding that I had to learn how to love myself before I could love anyone else in a healthy way. Then I had to determine what loving myself actually meant. Along with that, I had to overcome the idea that taking care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually is not selfish or narcissist. Rather, it is a healthy means of expressing self-love. Finally, I came to the conclusion that I am the only one who can impart these gifts to myself.

The true gift in finally getting to know myself is that I have a growing awareness of who I am – an awesome lady who is by no means perfect but is precious, authentic, and unique. More on that with the next journal prompt. (Note: Save your ideal vision of your relationship with yourself until the next journal. This week focus on what currently is going on with how you see and treat yourself.) 

Journal Question: What is your current relationship with your? How aware are you of what is driving your thoughts, words, and actions? How well are you caring for yourself both physically and emotionally?

Affirmation: Reflect on your journal writing, then create a one-sentence to summarize your key idea in positive, personal, and powerful terms. Be bold and make it outrageously strong. Example: I audaciously love myself.

Letter from your soul to you: Review your journal entry and your affirmation before you write a letter from your soul to you reflecting on both. Address the letter with a term of endearment because that is how your soul sees you. Then allow the love that your soul has for you to pour out onto the page.

Buen Camino, Pat

The art of talking to yourself begins not with speaking but with listening.~Vironika Tugaleva, The Art of Talking to Yourself

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