No other relationship is more important than the one you have with yourself.“ We’ve all heard this before, but not many of us live by it. 

There are 2 main reasons why we are unable to put ourselves first.


1.    When we were little, we got praised for looking after other people. So we became very good at giving and considering other people’s needs before our own.

2.    We are not attuned to our own needs. This has its roots in childhood trauma. And while there are different types of trauma, there is one that doesn’t get much recognition. Yet it is the very reason why we have low confidence and self-worth and why we struggle with relationships in general. 

Unless we had a parent who was super attuned to our needs, we went through what’s called a developmental trauma. Developmental trauma happens when our basic survival needs are not provided in the early years of our lives which then impacts our development. Because of this we don’t develop the ability to recognise our needs, regulate our emotions and behaviours and we disconnect from our body and its needs. 
Even though our childhood is over and our caregivers are no longer in control of our lives, we are still impacted by them, struggling to see our worth, and quite simply... to love ourselves.
This is because of our internalised parents. So, if we had a parent who was critical of us, we now have a part within us that is self-critical. These parts need to be heard, felt and understood in order for us to heal and develop a deeper relationship with ourselves. 

Jaroslava Shafiq IPHM accredited therapist

So what is the recipe for self-love?
The most important step is to release your resistance to self-love. Which means addressing the self-hating part first.  This is your shadow part – we call it a shadow because we are not conscious of it.
For this step, I use a technique called parts work. You can do this on your own or with a qualified professional.
The key is to allow the self-hating part to express itself. By doing so, this part eventually relaxes and allows the self-loving part to grow. 

Identify and accept your other shadows
Shadows are your subconscious - something that you are unaware or unconscious of. They are parts of you that you denied, disowned or rejected (in order for you to have your needs met).
If you are going to do some shadow work by yourself, it is possible, but please be careful not to overload your nervous system.  A qualified professional will make sure that you go gradually and gently into the depth you are ready for, rather than facing it all at once and overloading your nervous system. 

Start paying attention to how you feel – emotions are the key. They are your internal guidance system thanks to which you know exactly what you like and what you dislike. 
Learn to allow all your emotions and pay special attention to what you do when you feel negative emotions such as sadness or anger. Do you allow these emotions? Or do you immediately turn to a coping strategy, such as eating, drinking, smoking, playing video games, going on social media, exercising etc. This is a form of escapism. It numbs our pain temporarily, but unfortunately, it doesn’t solve the problem. 

Take full responsibility for your life – you are the creator of your future
Prioritise yourself.
Make time for yourself.
Make time for self-reflection so that you can develop more self-awareness.
Stop playing the blame game – blaming others will only put you into the role of a victim; instead, focus on accountability.
Make changes when needed.
Take action.

Take full responsibility for your health
What foods does your body need you to be eating?¨
Do you get enough sleep?
Are you active enough?
I’m a great believer that behind every disease and discomfort we feel there is a lesson to be learnt. If you are struggling health-wise, allow your body to speak. If you gave it a voice, what would it say? 

Positive self-talk
Your self-talk is influenced by your subconscious mind. It reveals your thoughts and beliefs. If you have negative thoughts and beliefs, these can be changed into positive ones. 

Your future is in your hands. 
How do you want your future to look? Start visualising it.

By understanding and healing certain aspects, you can improve the relationship you have with yourself. You can change your limiting beliefs and strengthen your self-worth. This will result in greater confidence, better relationships with others and improved health.  Quite simply, life becomes magical when you start treating yourself with respect.

Written by Jaroslava Shafiq IPHM - For full details and link please visit my profile.