Your most important relationship (with YOU!)

Those cringe-worthy self-help mantras about needing to love yourself before you can love anyone else always make me barf.

It inspires visions of sickeningly self-satisfied new-age Californian wannabe-gurus (or worse, mid-western hypocritical Jimmy Baker/Billy Graham types) morally and physically contorted into ugly positions of evangelical self-gratification.

We Aussies tend to think of self-love as, well, wanky.

That said, I’ve recently had cause to ponder the broader implications of it. I received some negative feedback at work which forced me to reflect on my current prevailing mood. While not currently depressed, I have had a general air of agitated discontent. Every staff failure became an opportunity to punish them for grave stupidity rather than a development opportunity through which to up-skill them, or practice my mentoring. I wish I could claim to have had the self-awareness to identify the impact of morale-deflating neo-aggressive mood and head-it-off-at-the-pass myself. Alas, I did not.

Once made aware of my budding (or is that bludgeoning?) iron-fist and intergalactic-death-stare, I began reflecting on the germination factors of same.

Brutal self-reflection and assessment brought to my attention the petri-dish of emotions that lead to the my hard-headedness.

In short, it didn’t take a Conan Doyle character to deduce the underlying cause-and-effect. I have been feeling unappreciated, and punishing those around me for it.

It’s not all that surprising that I’ve been feeling unappreciated. As a single-mum who works full-time in a demanding executive role, life’s pressures can sometimes feel like a tsunami gathering momentum. Sometimes I feel as though I tirelessly slog-on, addressing everyone else’s needs but ignoring my own.

Never one for the damsel-in-distress-awaiting-rescue-routine, I decided that if I needed something done -I should roll up my sleeves and get busy… Rather than rely on external validation to stroke my ego, I decided to come up with my own action plan. (Shut up – I’m in governance – it’s what I do!). After all, who better to appreciate me, than someone who knows just how much I do around here?!

I asked myself:

  • How will you value yourself?
  • What will you do to demonstrate to yourself that you appreciate yourself?

And I came up with the following plan:

Actions
Each week I would set aside $50 to invest in my relationship with ME. Something totally selfish that was just for me to enjoy.

The only criteria were that it had to be for me, and it had to show how much I value myself.

So far I’ve treated myself to a couple of beauty treatments, had my CV professionally written, bought a couple of new blouses for work, and purchased an audiobook for my ipod.

Funding
I gave up my daily store-bought coffees (x2) resulting in a $50 a week saving.**
(** I had no idea I was wasting so much precious money!)

While it’s early days, I must say – it’s made quite an impact already. My mood is improving, which has alleviated the stress on others, and I’m no longer feeling as put-out and put-upon by the demands of my family and staff, because I am respecting my own worth and demonstrating my own appreciation of my value.

We often hear of, (and can well appreciate), the criticality of carers needing to care for themselves in order to be able to  provide care for their dependants.

So, as a parent, spouse, partner, lover, professional, family member, friend, community member – what do YOU do to energise and appreciate yourself?

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About Lyn Campbell

Lyn likes to be thought of as insightful, articulate and achingly clever, but she's just a bit of a nerd, really. _____________________________________________________ All written content copyright © Lyn Campbell 2008-2012. All rights reserved. No written content may be used, in part or in full, without the author's express written permission. (Pictures available from Google - copyright unknown unless otherwise credited).
This entry was posted in Beauty, Feminism, getting organised, Happiness, Life, love, Parenting, Personal goals, Relationships, work life balance and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Your most important relationship (with YOU!)

  1. David Coles says:

    I find it funny to watch humanity trying to understand the experience of life. We are looking at all the wrong stuff.

    There is no you to figure out.

    The only thing to figure out is, where in the hell are we and how the hell to we get out of this ridiculous mode of restrictive fear based thought that we are trapped in, and have always been trapped in.

    We are in a place where living beings eat each other – what do you expect? Good times and happiness? We are pretty dam stupid given the available intelligence in our funny brains!

    My advice is to embrace life but never accept it. It is all wrong so stop trying to make bits right for yourself.

    Self love – what a joke!

    • Lyn Campbell says:

      I’m fascinated that you felt inclined to read my post, much less comment on it, given your perspective. I must say your perspective sounds similar to that I’ve heard espoused by Scientologists, but I shan’t make any assumptions.

      I will instead focus on the one thing you said that made sense to me; your reference to us being trapped in “restrictive fear-based thought”. I think it’s true that our destructive behaviours and habits stem from being caught in these self-perpetuating fear-based loops. The aim of self-awareness is to respect oneself (and others) enough to maintain the motivation for the exhaustive change required to break free of those loops and move forward towards embedding more positive, nourishing behaviours and habits.

      • David Coles says:

        Scientologists hey? Always thought they were a bunch of lunatics…maybe I should re think. lol.

        Have you checked out my blog site yet? All I really care about is that we humans stop hurting, abusing, murdering and eating other living creatures. Outside of that I really don’t give a crap what anyone does, thinks, believes in etc.

        I wish I could just peacefully get on with my life, but unfortunately, or fortunately, I have some strange ability to see and figure out shit about life and human behavior that others don’t. So I share it for the animals and disadvantaged people on the planet. Not much interest in the rest of the self indulgent human species – but someone has to stop there insanity.

        Oh and I talk more abruptly with you because I think you are funny, in a good way, and I find your intelligence intriguing, so I push the boundaries more.

        You are strong in your thoughts so I thought i would see if you take it as well as you give it………………………………..!!!!!!!!!

        Oh and I like your the expression on your face in the profile picture – somewhat fascinates me also.

      • Lyn Campbell says:

        Oh, so you DID realise that I was insulting you? (when I accused you of being a Scientologist) Good. It’s no fun when the punchline whizzes past sopmeone’s ea\rs. *grin*
        Yeah, I can take it. I like a little banter. It’s much more fun (and conducive to growth) to be provoked rather than fawned over.
        Ok David, you’ve harangued me into it – I’ll check out your blog… Looking forward to exploring your mind-bending take on being…

  2. zman says:

    Great post, lots of folks dont understand their own potential cause they dont value their own self worth…gotta love yourself so you can let others in…..

  3. sunshineinlondon says:

    Very true, Lyn. I enjoy how you write – and you make a lot of sense. It sounds like you sure need to build in me-time with your busy and demanding life and schedule. But it also sounds like you’re doing a great job. Much love and strength to you.
    Sunshine x

  4. jonnysoundsketch2 says:

    This follows the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

    The other one is the rule of Love: Love your neighbor as yourself.

    These seen through religious eyes would seem detached but through the practical daily routine we need to give ourselves time to rejuvenate, be quiet and reflect or simply take a nice dip in the hot tub to relieve the stress. I like to read, play music and hang with friends because I work alone a lot of the time. I’m self-employed therefore my job only includes others where I can’t accomplish the job in a efficient time frame.

    The other means of self-appreciation is actually having an out loud conversation about my feelings (I talk to God out loud when I’m alone too) and situations. This method started when I took electronics where the instructor commanded us to trace a circuit verbally and visually so we made sure we were on track. I thought then, “What a great method for self-evaluation!” Because what goes out of our mouths goes in our ears and we can hear what it sounds like to others when we say it. It’s also a good way to rehearse hard conversations with employees or friends—kinda’ like writing it out only verbal.

    I like this concept (and I hope you don’t mind the Jesus quotes they just seemed to fit in my thinking).

    • Lyn Campbell says:

      Hi Jonny. It’s always nice when you drop by.

      I was intrigued by your experience in using social contact as a reward. Not being self-employed, it wasn’t a perspective that i had considered, though, remembering my brief time as the mother of young children, I can remember my hunger for grown-up conversation and contact and my thirst for returning to the work environment for those very reasons.

      Happy for you to quote the moral law, I think their relevance to the points we were discussing is quite prescient. I tend not use them verbatim myself, simply because many secularists find such use off-putting.

      I found your suggestion regarding the use of ‘out-loud’ conversations really refreshing! What an inspired concept! I shall have to try that!

      As always, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Jonny.

  5. TamrahJo says:

    I read your blog and say to myself, “See? I’m not crazy! Here’s another who thinks just like I do!” LOL

    So glad to find another voice of reason out there!

  6. Ivy Blaise says:

    Interesting post. Here are my 2 cents’ worth regarding this:
    What I have learned sofar is that the best way to make me feel energised is to either go to the gym or the club and get all that frustration out. Meeting up with friends and having a laugh always works. A small time-out from my normal life when I just read a book or just sit and stare out the window to clear my thoughts can also help at times. When it comes to feeling valued… beauty treatments are good and just some me-time doing whatever I want, even it is just surfing WordPress for a little while.

    This is not a fool-proof recipy for me, there are still many days when I really have to get my act together (read: combination of tired, hungry and pms is leathal… >) ). But I believe step one is realising how ones behaviour impacts others and step two to ultimately taking responsibility for that behaviour. Preemptive measures?

    OK… enough yada yada from me. 🙂

    • Lyn Campbell says:

      I always enjoy hearing your thoughts on a topic Ivy.
      “…step one is realising how ones behaviour impacts others and step two to ultimately taking responsibility for that behaviour…”
      You’ve knocked me for six with the resounding truth in that statement. (An inspired a related post – to follow soon!)

      • Ivy Blaise says:

        🙂 Great that it inspired another post! Looking forward to reading it. Sometimes it is not easy to find inspirations on what to blog about, at least I can sometimes feel like that when I try to come up with something at least halfway intelligent to go on about. 🙂

      • Lyn Campbell says:

        I share your pain on that point Ivy. I know that struggle all-too-well!

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