Building a relationship with ourselves is not an easy thing to do. But I'll tell you one thing- it will be much easier to build strong relationships with others and know what we want in relationships once we have learned to be our own best friend.
There were many times when I looked in the mirror and hated what I saw. I have picked out every flaw and so-called imperfection. And I did this for a long time. Well, until I cracked.
My own journey of self-love started three years ago when I struggled daily with the destructive cycle of emotional eating. I was on the verge of an eating disorder. I lived a life of trying to please everyone, trying to live up to certain standards that put unnecessary pressure on me during an already fragile point in my life.
From that point in my life I would have to learn to see myself differently because the way I saw things was destroying my body, mind and spirit. The beginning of any journey is always the hardest. We must let go of preconceived notions and surrender. Often we reach a breaking point where something needs to change. And often, at this point, we need to lay down our pride and ask for help.
After facing many challenges along my own journey, I can say that the struggle has been worth it. I am now in a much better place and even though it took a breakdown to make me realize that the way I was living my life three years ago was more suffocating than anything, I am grateful for all of it.
Especially today, we must learn to love ourselves, inside and out. Self-love is a tool that will improve our relationships with others and our general success in life. Expecting perfection is bound to cause exhaustion and maybe even a breakdown if we don't take a moment to be kind to ourselves and to strive for balance instead.
Every journey has its ups and downs and the journey of self-love is no different. There will be times when we will feel like we are sliding back into old habits. This is part of the journey and we must remind ourselves of how far we have come. I have learned that mindfulness (being aware of the present moment) paired with self compassion, are the best tools to stay on track.
For more info on mindfulness, please check out my article: http://breathingeverymoment.blogspot.ca/2012/09/what-is-mindfulness.html)
It is also important to surround ourselves with loving and accepting people. People who are supportive and will be there at every step of the journey.