Masterful Mindsets – Relationships Require Effort

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha


How much effort do you put into the relationships you value most? Do you openly and freely share your love and affection? Do you make the same effort to express love to yourself?

Action Challenge: 

Relationships require effort. Anyone who tells you differently is lying. Note: I did not say that they had to be difficult or hard. But they do require effort. Trust me, after 23 years of marriage (which we just celebrated this weekend) we wouldn’t still be deeply in love with each other if we didn’t put effort into our relationship. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes even we need a reminder. Life can get busy and overwhelming. And when that happens, it’s easy to take your closest relationships for granted. But to keep any relationship alive and strong, it requires attention and effort. It requires love and affection.

Anytime there is more than one person involved in a relationship, there will be time of give and take. Times when you must put forth more effort than others and times when, if you have a healthy relationship, they will give more to you when you need it. But what about that relationship you have with yourself? How’s that working out for you? Do you put effort into that relationship? Do you give yourself love and affection?

Most people are willing to put forth effort in a relationship with someone else but they neglect the relationship they have with themselves. They ignore the fact that if they don’t have a good relationship with themselves, there will always be a void in their other relationships. It may show up in the form of lack of respect, discontentment, emptiness and even in conditional acceptance vs. unconditional love.

Why? Because if you don’t love and respect yourself enough to expect love and respect from others, you will not get it. If you aren’t willing to love yourself unconditionally then how would you guess others would love you? What you believe from others is a mirror of what you believe about yourself.

Would you treat others the way you treat yourself and expect to have any friends or lovers? Do you lie to yourself? Do you talk negatively about yourself? Do you beat yourself up? Do you neglect yourself or abuse yourself?

You might say no to the questions above. But when was the last time you nurtured yourself? When was the last time you were proud of yourself or did something loving and caring for yourself? If you don’t answer daily then you are missing the boat.

Having a great relationship with someone else begins with the relationship you have with yourself. If you don’t have love, care and compassion for yourself, it is hard to put that out into the world with another person. Love and respect yourself and others will too. Treat yourself the way you want to be treated. Make time for yourself, nurture yourself, care for yourself, love yourself. When you do that, everything around you changes too. And you will see more love in the world.

My challenge to you is to make two lists this week. The first will be a list of the things you love about yourself. The second will be a list of the ways you want to give love and affection to yourself. What kind of effort do you need to put forth to nurture your relationship with yourself? Then begin to make that effort.  And as a bonus challenge for this week – do the same for your significant other or another loved one in your life.

PS – Don’t be fooled into thinking that anything on this list has to be big or elaborate. Sometimes the littlest of actions can be the best – For yourself – taking time to exercise, getting a massage, meditating or reading a good book are simple efforts that can fill your cup with love for self. For a significant other – kind words, a gentle touch, an act of kindness or simply spending quality time together can be huge.

***Read The 5 Love Languages for more understanding of the different ways people express and feel loved.***

***I want to hear from you… share your thoughts about this week’s topic below.