“What is the biggest cause of a relationship breaking down?” She asked.
“Lack of communication.”
“Lack of intimacy.”
“Lack of passion.”
“Lack of money,” they answered.
“Those are the results,” she said. “The true cause of a relationship breaking down is lack of self-care.”
As soon as I heard her say it, I knew she was right. She was after all the relationship expert in the room. Up to that point I thought that the results had been the cause of all the challenges in my relationships. Past & current. Personal & professional. When in reality, it was my lack of self-care.
In those relationships, I was not taking care of myself. I wasn’t asking for what I needed. I was expecting to just receive what I needed. “Well he should know what I need”, “She’s not listening to me”, “They just aren’t getting me.” I have said this about partners, bosses, friends, coworkers and family. I always saw the problem was with them. Even though the common denominator in all those relationships was me, I never took responsibility for my part in the breakdowns. I never took responsibility for myself.
So, when your relationship is a bit bumpy, and you hear that lack of self-care is the cause, what do you do? If you want to stay in that relationship, you start to take care of yourself, practice self-love and ask for what you need.
“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an Amen?” - RuPaul
How many times do we have to be told to take care of ourselves before taking care of others? What will it take for us to realize that sacrificing ourselves for the sake of others will not make any relationship better. When you love yourself first, you are creating a being of love. A being that attracts others like moths to a flame. A being that is stronger, more self-aware and more attractive. You know what you want, and you know how to ask for it. Without fear. Asking from a place of love.
Are you experiencing your relationships from a place of fear? Here are some things that you can do to jumpstart a practice of self-care and self-love.
Take time for yourself.
Schedule daily time that is just for you and make it special. Create morning and/or evening rituals.
Get up 30 minutes before everyone else. Use that time to meditate, journal, have your morning drink, go for a run, stretch, take a long shower, listen to music, read, set your intentions for the day.
Go to bed 30 minutes after everyone else. You can use this time to read, journal, have your special relaxing tea, stretch, take a long bath, think about all the things that you are grateful for.
This is not extra time to do laundry, make the kids’ lunch or complete unfinished chores. This is time for you and it is non negotiable.
Do something special for yourself. Weekly.
Take yourself out to lunch. Go to the beach. Your favorite museum. Dance to your favorite song. See friends. Have a Spa day.
Ask for what you want.
Stop assuming your boss or partner or friend or coworker or family, know what you need. Tell them what you want and how you want it. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to get it. If you don’t know what you want, then repeat 1 and 2 from above and try again.