by Larry James relationship coach and author.
Often therapists, radio talk show hosts and others who provide relationship advice or coaching will tell you that in order to have a great relationship with your partner, you must first work on you.
While this is very good advice, something is missing. How do you do that?
You begin by really paying attention to what YOU need to be fulfilled as an individual. Focus on YOU! Think about how you are being when you are with yourself. Self inquire!
Here are a few questions to ask yourself. . .
Are you happy?
Disappointed in where you are in the relationship you have with yourself?
Loving some or most of the time but not all of the time?
Do you like you?
When you are alone do you feel lonely?
Are you always blaming others for what happens to you?
Do you know that something is missing in your life and you are not quite sure what it is?
Are you always looking back?
Do you know what it feels like to live in the present; to really be present to what is going on?
Have you lost sight of what you really would like to have in the area of relationships?
Do you know specifically what YOU need from a relationship?
Have you really ever thought seriously about that?
Are you feeling sorry for yourself?
Upset because of the kind of people you attract into your life?
Have you reached a point where it is pointless to complain because you now know that relationships are what you make of them?
Do you know down deep inside that there must be something better?
These are just a few questions we can answer that will cause us to begin to understand that no matter how hopeless or great things look, they can always be better. We have a choice in how our lives turn out! Choice is our greatest power.
How do you work on YOU? You begin to get totally honest with yourself. You begin holding yourself accountable for who you are in the matter; how YOU feel about the way things are. Then. . . if you decide (and only when you decide) to do something different, you promise yourself (and keep your promise) that you will do everything within your power to be happy instead of right! In other words, discontinue justifying what doesn't work and begin to do something different.
How do you work on YOU? You read good books about relationships that stimulate your thinking; that inspire you to a better way of living. You attend seminars and workshops, not just about relationships, but those that stimulate you to change the way you have been. Become involved in a support group; one that supports you in being a better you.
You begin to journal; really getting honest with how you feel about things, what you think about things, how things "really are" instead of how you "think" things are, etc. Write it all down. Be honest with yourself! Read: For Your Eyes Only. Spend a lot of time thinking about what's happening right now, instead of dwelling on the past. Being concerned about something that has already happened and that you cannot change, keeps you stuck right where you are! You work on YOU!
What are the benefits of working on YOU? The reward for working on you is - you feel good about who you are! You really love you! Not the self-centered love that distracts you from being loving to others, but a genuine love of self; the kind of love you can share with others.
Loving you for who you are causes you to begin to feel like a whole person. At that time you may be ready for another relationship. Unless you wait for this magic moment, you may always continue to be dissapointed with the relationships that show up in your life. Remember, like attracts like. Opposites do not attract. That is a myth!
If you cannot handle the most important relationship in your life - the one you have with yourself - then you will never be able to truly relate to the ambiance of the coming together of two people. We spent so much of our time being concerned about the relationship we are in with someone else, that we forget about ourselves. This could be called "losing yourself in the relationship."
Many people agree that working on you takes discipline, determination and doing something different; changing your behavior! That is the key. The relationship we have with ourselves and the relationships we have with others are hard work. This, we know is true: We must work on them all the time, not only when they are broken and need to be fixed, however, they must never be a struggle.
Relationships become a struggle when someone is not pulling their fair share of the load. It's hard to feel good about yourself, when you know you are letting your love partner down by not giving yourself full attention. It's difficult if not impossible to pay attention to the overall relationship unless you know how to focus attention on yourself FIRST.
Two broken people can't fix each other. You only have the choice to fix yourself! AND to begin, you have to acknowledge the problem. Broken people seem to attract each other because they can relate to, "Something is missing in this relationship!" The opposite is also true!
So. . . we must never stray from the path of self-discovery! We must always know where we stand with ourselves. The only way you can do this is to be attentive to, and intentional about having the best relationship with yourself that is humanly possible. This means you must always work on YOU first. When you are ready. . . a relationship with someone else will be there; you will find each other.
Can you imagine? Two, whole, healthy people. . . together. Each feeling good about themselves; loving themselves and sharing that love with each other.
Can you imagine? BOTH love partners working on the relationship they have with each other and supporting each other in their own personal growth!
If you believe it, really believe it, and make sure you are always doing the best you can to cause it to be this way. . . anything is possible. There is no other like you. This is it! Don't waste time!
Never stop working on YOU.