Our relationships are vital to our mental, emotional and physical well-being. They connect us to the inner workings of our hearts and minds, as well as to those circles of family and friends, co-workers, and the community at large. If you haven’t given your relationships much thought of late, perhaps a few thought-moments today will enhance those you have, beginning with growing your relationship with you.
Now, being interested in personal growth doesn’t mean you’re selfish. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. In his book, “The Psychology of Romantic Love,” Nathaniel Brandon wrote, “The first affair we must consummate successfully is the love affair with ourselves. Only then are we ready for other love relationships.” In other words, if we don’t even like ourselves, it’s going to be difficult to love others.
Human beings are social beings, and we live – one way or another – in community with other human beings. When we work toward the betterment of something, in community with others, then it’s important to bring our own “A-game” to the party. And that almost demands we love and respect ourselves first.
You see, no matter how concerned we are about others, we are ultimately responsible only for ourselves. If we feel inadequate and victimized, then we have no power to offer another person security and strength. Without that firm personal foundation, we are building our relationships on what amounts to quicksand.
Self-development means being the best you can be and giving the best that you can give. It means asking yourself, “If I were living with me, would I want to stay around?” Yes, that’s a big question, and one that demands an answer. Then, you change what you need to change according to that answer you have given yourself. And you don’t need to make a big deal about it.
You see, although there are tremendous personal benefits to self-development, it is, perhaps, in your relationships with others that a commitment to personal growth will bring you the most gratifying changes – and a deeper sense of happiness and contentment.