Love Yourself First

I love being in love. I love each day that I get to spend with my significant other of 13 years . Our relationship is a teamwork approach. We don’t keep tallies of what each other has done around the house, or what tasks we have done for each other. We both simply make a conscious effort to do tasks that will ease the other persons load.

Ram Daas has a beautiful quote:

I think in relationships, you create an environment with your own work on yourself, which you offer to another human being to use to grow in the way they need to grow. You keep working – you become the soil – moist and soft and receptive so the person can grow the way they need to grow, because how do you know they should grow?

What a beautiful quote! It reminds us that we cannot change anyone but ourselves. Over the past few years I’ve dove deep into my own traumas, my own ‘shadow side’ – the dark parts that can be too painful to look at and process. A lot of times we deny that we have the shadow side to us. But, we all have traumas. Childhood abuse, sexual abuse, bullying, feelings of inadequacy/shame/guilt. These are all common emotional traumas that are rooted deep in our bodies and minds. A lot of times these traumas are picked up when we are children and actually wire the way our brain thinks about certain situations.

I love my older sister, Cassie and we have a great relationship, but growing up and being 1 year 7 months apart, she was the older one, bigger one, smarter one, stronger one. Everything was a competition to her when we were children. At a young age, I constantly felt like I wasn’t good enough and would have to prove myself in other ways. It paid off in the end, as I now see myself as a clever, resilient go-getter, not settling for anything or anyone <insert me flexing my little arm muscles :)>

Okay, so what does all of this childhood trauma and false beliefs we were engrained to have as we have gone through life, teach us about love? Everything. I have realized in my relationships with my partner, friends, family and community, I show up more loving when I have done the work on myself. When I wake up and meditate in the morning, I start my day with gracious and loving eyes. When I skip my practice or feel rushed, I might not show up as present as I would like.

Knowing that I can only change myself, I work everyday to make sure (as Ram Daas mentions) my soil is full of nutrients, compost and worms :D, the perfect soil for other people to be surrounded by and to ‘grow’ in. When I am a better person and show up more present in my relationships, so do the people I am with.

What are you doing to show up for yourself? To heal traumas of the past? To be more present in your relationships? Please take out a journal and write your thoughts about this. Think of your childhood and past relationships, have other people placed false beliefs on you to make you think of yourself as ‘not worthy’ or any other negative emotions? When you start looking at the people that labeled you and gave you parts of your identity, you might begin to see their brokenness (their traumas) actually being placed on you.

Healing yourself helps to heal past generations and future generations. It’s a beautiful thing. Love yourself more.

Happy Valentines Day

Stephanie Grutz, ARNP, FNP-C

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