Be on your own side
To take any steps towards your own well-being, you have got to be on your own side. That doesn’t mean that you pit yourself against other people, but that you have a loving, caring stance for yourself, and are on your own side. That can be easier than it sounds, especially if you have had the experience of being blocked or knocked down when you have tried to be assertive and stand up for yourself over an issue of importance in your world. Maybe deep down you don’t believe you deserve happiness, indeed many of us carry feelings of self-loathing and inadequacy that are holding us back from having the sort of life we would like to be living.
So, what’s the best thing to do here? We can start by asking what it is like to be a good friend to someone, then ask: ‘Am I that kind of friend to myself?’ If not, it may be that you are being too critical of yourself, that you are not on your own side, and too resigned to your own pain. Pain is never a good place to reside, even though we may visit that location many times during our lives. We can make the trip away, as soon as we find ourselves in pain, towards what I would call personal Inner Power.
The first step is to wish yourself well, to let what you are feeling be important to you. During our day, we can ask ‘Am I on my own side here?’ Good times to do this include when you are feeling sad, hurt, depressed, stressed or irritated. You may also be aware that there is something you could be doing to improve your life (like cutting out alcohol, losing weight, or having an honest conversation with a partner or work colleague), but aren’t doing.
At those times, you can help yourself by bringing to mind what it feels like to be with someone who really cares about you (now or in the past). Try to sink into those feelings of being cared about, and this will help you feel that you count, that you have worth, which is the root of being on your own side. Another good tip is to recall a time when you had to be strong and courageous on your own behalf, and then recall how this felt in your body and your mind. Something which is always a powerful thing to do is to get out a photo of yourself as a child, and look at it. See how vulnerable and sweet you were, and begin to feel a stance of love and nurturing to this child who was so innocent and needed a lot of care. Then imagine extending those same feelings to yourself now, as the adult you are, but with that little child still within you who needs honouring, loving, and even holding. You can light a candle by this picture, or place a crystal next to it (such as rose quartz), to bring in love and caring to that child that is still inside of us today.
We all wish to be happy instead of worried, sad, angry or guilty. We want others to have respect for us, and we want to help our future selves (the people we will be in the future) to be as happy as possible. We can start now. It is important to have respect for others, but equally important to look after our own mind, body and spirit. We have as many needs as anyone else, and when we are looking after ourselves we find that we then have more to offer others. It is a little known truth that when we are compassionate and loving towards ourselves, we have more to offer others, not less. When you extend love to yourself, you will find it easier to extend love to others.Many of us are starving for love and affection, and we can be needy and grasping, expecting the outside world to fill us up. This is a very painful place to be. When we learn to give ourselves what we are looking for, and learn to be on our own side, we become more open-hearted and more open-handed, towards those close to us and to the wider world which we all share.