The Most Important Relationship

The Most Important Relationship

John Gray

Most people experience problems in their relationships, and life for that matter, because they don't love themselves.

I know that sounds like a broad statement but it's true. Once you stop loving yourself, you create space for hating yourself.

Love is a cycle that can grow stronger if it is supported...

The more you love yourself, the greater freedom you feel to express yourself. The more you express yourself, the easier it is for people to appreciate the real you and not simply the image you project. The more appreciation and love you receive, the more you love yourself and the cycle continues.

When you don’t love yourself this cycle moves in the opposite direction, with decreasing love and self-expression.

Every relationship in your life can cause this love cycle to break down. Family, teachers, coaches, friends, coworkers, bosses and everyone else have the potential to cause you to stop believing in yourself. This loss of confidence stifles self-expression and disrupts your cycle of self-love.

And once it’s broken, it’s hard to get back on track.

There are five important steps you can take to help you love yourself more.

1. Appreciate yourself
We are taught from childhood that to appreciate ourselves is vain, and vanity is not good. Modesty is an admirable quality, but we often do too good a job of being modest and therefore diminish our self-appreciation for those things that we have accomplished and do well.

2. Desire yourself
We are taught to share early in life. Again, this is an admirable quality. The problem is that as we seek the love and acceptance of our parents and elders many of us become expert at self-sacrifice without learning that some of our dreams will only be accomplished if we focus on our own wants, needs, and desires.

3. Free yourself
Young children catch on quickly that love is often conditional. In the face of a mistake, love is withheld and the pattern is established that mistakes are made at the price of affection. Free yourself from grieving over past mistakes. Learn from them and move forward.

4. Express yourself
The effort to please your parents, family and friends often comes at the price of self-expression. You become preoccupied with becoming like other people and surrender the chance to express your own uniqueness. In time, you learn to live with a sense of inner failure and frustration because you have buried your potential for success.

5. Be yourself
If you experienced love being turned on and off to you as a child, you probably decided that your worth and goodness depends on your ability to please others. Simply being yourself earned you little praise or recognition.

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