It is better to be alone than in a unhealthy relationship. Destructive relationships damage your emotional health and your self esteem. It may not be easy to find someone to be in a healthy relationship with but its worth the search. The longer you are in a destructive relationship the less time you have to look for a healthy relationship. Sometimes you may only be in a healthy relationship with people who you see for therapy and that’s ok as this starts to give you good guidelines.
What are some of the benefits to being alone? Melody Beattie in Co-Dependent No More says you can learn to like and love yourself and have” a love affair with yourself”. Learn to value yourself and even love yourself and be more compassionate to yourself. If you don’t like or love yourself then you don’t recognize your self worth. All humans have the same self worth though some may not recognize or honor it. Recognize your self worth. Learn to accept your thoughts, feelings and your body as they are all amazing.
How does this love affair with yourself start? Start by telling yourself you are good enough. Realize that everyone has similar negative feelings and thoughts but they push thru them. Then they set goals for a better life and proceed to have a better life. Value yourself and make choices and decisions that enhance your self esteem and improve your life.
Be gentle, loving, attentive and kind to yourself. Value your feelings, needs, wants, desires and all that you are made of. If you have a hard time with this act as if and change the destructive pattern. Accept yourself and start where you are at and then work to become more. Develop your gifts and talents, trust yourself, respect yourself and be true to yourself. Last of all, honor yourself as this is how you will find yourself.
Nathaniel Branden says for a better life and improved self esteem, honor the self by being; willing to think independently, to feel what you feel, want what you want, and need what you need. He adds that you need to desire and suffer over what you are vulnerable about. He further says preserve an attitude of self acceptance, live authentically, refuse to accept unearned guilt, be committed to your right to exist, and be in love with your own life.
You may find that as you develop your relationship with yourself to be healthy and loving then people who come into your life will be loving and kind too.
In my counselling work with clients either individually and with couples I often see evidence of people making changes in themselves and then finding healthier relationships after. This really makes sense logically as we become more comfortable around people we can relate to whether they are unhealthy or healthy like we are. We can change the pattern and have a healthy relationship or at least a healthier one. Other ways to change to healthy relationship patterns are through reading books, viewing information videos, taking courses or workshops and looking around you for role models that show you what a healthy relationship is.
Irene Haire, MC, RCAT, Registered Provisional Psychologist/Registered Art Therapist is in private practice in Edmonton at The GB Building Downstairs-9562- 82 Avenue, 780-232-1055 www.edmontonpsychologistpros.com