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Ep. 140 Relationship with Self

by Claudine Sweeney
August 3rd 2022

How good is your relationship with yourself? Have you ever thought about that? We can focus so much on others that we give very little thought to the relationship with our self. In order to show up... More

This is episode 1 40 How to have a healthy relationship with yourself, you're listening to the Rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids, we have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the Rise up and Shine podcast. Welcome back listeners today, I have a few questions to start us off. First of all, do you feel comfortable in your own skin? Second, do you feel secure without other people's validation? And third do you value yourself? If you said yes to these, then you have a healthy relationship with yourself, but if not if you said no to one or more then maybe it's time to give a little attention to the relationship you have with yourself.

Now, if you had asked me, gosh, I don't know, some years ago I would have thought this was such a strange topic, healthy relationship with yourself, what does that even mean? Like I, me and I have relationship with other people but I didn't see this as something that I would have with myself and Gosh being in the coaching industry and learning all the tools and resources that we have at our fingertips. This has become a huge, huge value point for me. Like I've really had to learn how to have a healthy relationship with myself and as a christian woman, I was thinking that maybe that's selfish. So it was like, I can't think about myself. That's so selfish. That's so self centered. If I'm thinking about me and so like many of us moms and women, we push our needs and our desires to the side, right? We stuff stuff stuff because we have more important things, quote unquote to take care of like our house and our Children and our husbands and and we neglect ourselves and then we wonder why we have all these issues as the Children get older, they certainly pop up as the kids get older when your time is not, you know, as demanded like when they're little, they need you all the time, right?

Who has time to even think I didn't even have time to take action. Yes, constantly distracted. And soon they're all in school and all of a sudden you just look around, you're like, wait, what's going on with me? So this is a huge topic. I wish I had learned to devote Little attention to my relationship with myself 20 or 30 years ago. But for those of you that are still young or still haven't conquered this one, this is for you. So, a healthy relationship with yourself means that you have a stable self concept. You're comfortable in your own skin. To the point where you don't need validation from others in order to feel whole, so, so important. Yeah, I like that. I also found this quote by julie Hanks. She is a thing, therapist in a blog or over on psych central. I found this online. She says a healthy self relationship is the ability to value yourself as a person and embrace your strengths and weaknesses. I love that because for so many years I did not feel that and this is a great follow up episode to our previous episode of mom guilt.

Especially as moms, we put ourselves to the side, we feel like that's what we should be doing and we take care of everybody else. It just feels so natural to do that for most of us. However, when we are not taking care of ourselves, our needs, we get lost, we very much get lost in the hustle and bustle of life and responsibilities. And when I started thinking more about like what is my relationship with myself? How do I view myself? What do I think about myself? What do I believe about myself? Would I even consider my myself my own friend? I feel like I am a good friend, but to myself, I just had no clue right. And when you, especially when the kids were really little, I remember there was a point where I didn't even know what my strengths were. I was feeling like I was constantly falling short. I was not doing enough. I was not doing the right things. I was not doing enough of the right things, right. I mean all that, I just didn't feel good about myself. I wasn't very confident, I was struggling and it really was this as the foundation, you know, if not having the healthiest relationship with myself and it's crucial.

I mean our relationship with ourself is very much a foundation of even our relationships with others. It also contributes to whether like our success, how we go after goals, are we doing what we feel passionate about? Are we serving and giving it really is an indicator of how we show up in the world, how we view ourselves and our relationship with ourselves, which is why we want to talk about this because we all want to thrive. We all want to be generous. We all want to serve. We all want to show up well for others. That is a huge desire of ours. But how do we do it? Well, this is a great place to start really identify and um focus on our relationship with self first, which does not sound right, It can feel selfish, right? So we can be able to, you know, show up. Well, I like the metaphor of the mask on the airplane, right? Like if you're going traveling with your Children, if something were to happen, my instinct would be to put the masks on my Children first, right?

But they always tell you every time it's reminder, put the mask on yourself first and then you can help others. And I think that's the same way with having a healthy relationship with yourself. Like you said, all our other relationships are built upon the foundation of the relationship we have with ourselves and we are the most important relationship we're going to ever have. It's the only relationship that we're going to have for our entire life. We live with ourselves forever, right? We spend the most time with ourselves and even our kids who, you know, are husband and our kids who we love dearly and would give our right arm for there's going to be a point like our kids, they're going to grow up. Like I'm at that stage, my kids have grown up, they've moved out, three of them live in different parts of, you know, some distance from me to in other States and one in southern California. So there's there's quite a bit of dist since they're so even though I still have a relationship with them, they're not in my day to day life, but I still am, I am here with me. And if we don't take care of ourselves, if we don't have a healthy relationship with ourselves, we don't show up as our best version of ourselves, which is what you said, it affects every other area and success.

So developing that first from a place of self care self love instead of selfishness and that can be confusing because for me, I think my twenties, my thirties possibly even into my mid forties, I would think that this healthy relationship with self would have been very selfish for me and then you get to a certain age, you're like, wait, if I don't take care of me, who's gonna take care of me, you know, who's going to do it, my kids aren't going to do it, I mean they all say they're going to take care of me when I'm old and take care of myself, but for now it really is my responsibility. It's not my husband's job to take care of me, my emotional health, my mental health, my well being, it's mine and I want to be a friend to me, like you said, like I feel like I'm a good friend to people, but for many years I was not a good friend to me, that was a great, I love that. So ladies, are you a good friend to yourself? Yeah, it feels weird to ask that, right? It feels like a weird question to that makes no sense why what I need to be a friend to myself, but I like how you were saying we do spend the most time with ourselves and our relationship with ourselves is huge in indicating how we experience life and other relationships and I was thinking about jesus, right, jesus knew who he was, he was very clear, he was very confident on his purpose um and where he came from, right and who he was as a person and so kind of coming off of the last episode of mom guilt when we are feeling inadequate, when our self esteem is low, when we're not feeling like we're showing up the way we really want to or quote unquote should, then it causes a lot of challenges.

The foundation for that is really how are we valuing ourselves? Are we even valuing ourselves? What do we think about ourselves? What do we believe about ourselves? And this goes way way, way back even into childhood, all of the life experiences we've ever ever gone through has wired us the way we are, right? So we are very much a product of everything we've experienced on life. That's just what happens right? We are very influenced. Um however, but if we're not taking very good care of ourselves, if we are not practicing self love, self compassion, self care, even gratitude, mindfulness, all these things. If we're not taking care of ourselves. And one thing I was thinking of is stewardship, right. How are we stewarding us? Because we are supposed to be a good steward and are we stewarding our bodies well, emotions well, our thoughts well, if we are not doing that then how could we possibly show up well for others?

Yeah, it was really transformative for me and just really convicting and I just think of jesus as the ultimate model, he knew who he was, he felt very confident in who he was, and so I feel like how do we get there, how do we get to feel very confident and secure in who we are, right, and it takes intention, takes practice and it really takes being able to Stewart ourselves, you can't see what I'm doing, I'm just like all of me Stuart myself, well, I love that, I love that, and then that's such a great point to and even when you brought up with jesus, he knew when to take care of his needs, He knew when he needed to retreat alone, he knew when he needed solitary time and he knew that he an important job to do like us as moms, we have important jobs to do and caring for our Children and he was trying to you know, save the world, just that, just that and he'll people um while he was here on earth and yet he took time away to meet his needs and what he needed enable in order to be show up in the ways that really helped others transform and he really helped a lot of people in very deep emotional situations, right?

So, I mean, to be able to show up for someone in such a deep way, you really have to gather all your strength, you have to know thyself, you really do need to know yourself and take care of myself, I love that stewarding concept, that's really good, just you know, I need to take care of myself, my heart, my mind, my soul, how well am I doing that and just you know again, you and I are both good friends to others. We've learned that skill. I think it is a skill to be a good friend. I think you and I have been taught within our church, we have really healthy relationships. We've both learned the skill of how to be a good friend, but it wasn't until the last few years that I even had the concept of being friends myself and yeah, well let's share a few practical for our listeners because some people, some women out there might be like, wow, yeah, I'm a really good friend to others, but I don't even know how to be a good friend to me. So let's start with that. So number one, spend time with yourself now this right now, I can hear some of you, I have no time, there is no time to spend by myself out loud, I can see it, I can see in your eyes, I know this is what I would have said right when my kids were younger and at home, that's what I would have said, there's no time like I'm so busy, how can I have time to spend with mice, But this is important and if you really value a healthy relationship with yourself, you can find time for yourself, right, even carve out 30 minutes in the morning or lunchtime or whenever.

You know, everyone has different schedules, whether you work from home or outside of the home or whatever, but really make a commitment to spend time with yourself. Yeah. So just a little side note when I was younger, I was incredibly shy, so I didn't like going anyplace is alone. In fact going places alone would terrify me and we moved to Nashville in 2007 and lived there for two years. And what's interesting is those long drives, that is how I spend time with myself. I would go on these long country drives because that's one of my favorite things to do and I would go for like an hour and explore and just go to these beautiful territories by myself with the music on and it was such a great time in my life and for me because it was just about me for like an hour, it was just about me and my kids at that time, the two younger ones were with us and they were in school all day back then their school hours were 7 30 to 5 30. I know because it was mandatory sports after. So I literally had 10 hours of and I did work, we had a business, but I had a lot of extra time that I wasn't used to having prior to that, but those drives, that was my thing country drives.

I like that. So our second one is honor your commitment to yourself. This one was really interesting for me personally, because I realized that I flake on myself a lot. Yes. Do you? Yes, Think about that. We'll make a commitment and then it is so easy to not follow through on that commitment. I mean, I could wake up in the morning, I go to bed, let's say for example, I'm going to go to bed, I'm going to wake up at 6:00 AM, I'm going to be fresh, I'm going to read my bible, I'm going to have breakfast, I'm going to eat a healthy breakfast. We can have every intention. And then as soon as that alarm wakes up in the morning, I don't feel like snooze, snooze. I don't feel like it today. But really then it leaves you feeling, oh man, I didn't, and it's just like a little bit, it can be kind of like, have you ever heard death by 1000 cuts right? To start a little thing like that adds up. But if we're breaking commitments to ourselves, it's not going to help our confidence, our self esteem.

We're not going to contribute to us. Feeling good about ourselves, even the small things, even if we have a goal and we're not reaching that goal, then see throw my hands up. I'm a failure. I did it again, I can't follow through with anything. Such a loser. Whatever you say about ourselves, that is, it could be so subtle, but it is so damaging to our relationship with ourself. That is so powerful in july in the courage club by small group program. We did freedom from guilt and shame and so much we can have so much guilt when we don't honor our commitments to our right. Like when I make plans with a friend to meet for lunch or run errands or whatever, I show up, like I would never say, oh dude, tomorrow, right? I don't, I don't, I don't not show up on my friends, right? Like I made a commitment. I said I was going to be there and she's taking time out of her day and we honor commitments to other people. When I tell my kids when they were younger, I'll pick you up at 3 30 from school.

I showed up whether I felt like it or not right? But when it comes to ourselves, it's so easy not to honor those commitments and it leads to a lot of guilt and shame. And it goes it really is tied to not valuing ourselves. Absolutely. Because I value my other friendships and I figure well if I keep flaking on them, they're not going to want to be my friend, right? And I value them. But yet with ourselves, we know we're going to be with ourselves, but we treat ourselves with disrespect and if we take on ourselves. Yeah, well I'll do it tomorrow. I'll do it later and then usually we don't Anyway, I was the queen of that with the gym, right? And then I started saying publicly that I was going to start going. So I did because I'm like, oh now everyone knows I'm going to the gym. There you go. And really quick, I want to mention also an honoring commitment to self. We've done an episode on this. If you go back to episode 52, that episode, I mean listen to it and you can really learn a lot more about how to keep commitments to ourselves and really the benefit has in your life when we do.

So that sounds like a good one. We already did that you For us. Okay. 3rd practical practice boundaries, do you want to have a healthy relationship with yourself? Practice boundaries with others? Again, this is something we've done an episode on this episode, 33 way back in the day and it's something you and I both had to learn, it wasn't something that I was naturally good at, I had no boundaries, like there was no respect for myself, whatever people wanted from me, I just did it. I was a people pleaser. A Yes man, I just did it all, and I was exhausted, right, And um this is so important to practice boundaries to learn how to set them and then practice them if you really want a healthy relationship with yourself, if you want to be a friend to yourself and steward yourself, like you mentioned, we have to learn how to practice boundaries and we think boundaries are for other people, right? So they don't infringe on us or you know it's really more for our relationship with others, but it is also very beneficial to us as well and it takes in order to be able to set up boundaries.

It sometimes we don't know ourselves well enough to know what our boundaries should be. Yeah, I really had to do the work on this and this is why we highly encourage you to go back and listen to that episode episode 33 about boundaries and how to set boundaries because it does affect you as well. I mean boundaries are not just to keep something out, right, but it's to protect you and your relationships and your relationship with yourself. Very much so. Number four Do things for yourself that bring you joy. Even simple things long drive hike. Um Journaling, I think that is a very productive, very positive outlet as well. Um I know it can bring me a lot of joy, not every day when I'm tired, but it does bring me a lot of joy because it helps put things in perspective, you know I just recently got a little canister for food for my for my doggie, I think it's hilarious, but that made me really happy.

Yeah, but it's really just doing a little something for us, right? It's summertime. Um occasionally with the kids. I want to watch a movie with them and I'm going to watch the movie I want to watch and you guys are welcome to join me and that has been a lot of fun because and I've been able to watch some movies that were my favorites, you know, with the kids like what about bob? That's a fun summertime movie. So do some things you enjoy. Yeah, it's funny because for me even thinking of that I wanted so much to do things for myself that brought me joy, but I felt like my kids always came first, you know, something as an empty nester as a woman in midlife. This is crucial. Start doing this while you're young because what happens is you don't develop any into or do things that bring you joy. Then you get to the point where the kids are grown and that chapter in your life is starting to close up and all of a sudden you're like now what? And you don't even know I didn't even know what I liked anymore. Like I was like, well what do I even like it was?

And again, willingly and joyfully and happily I was happy to do everything for my face, but then you wake up one day and you're like, I don't even know what I like anymore. Even food wise, like I love eggplant parmesan but no one in my family likes it. So I never made it. I love it. Okay, that's a date you're going to have to come over. But there were things like that, like for 20 years, 30 years. I never made it before because I didn't cook till I had kids. But I just, it's not something I would ever make because no one liked it. And so then when they got older it was like, wait, but I can make this just for me, it was such a strange concept. And again, I think for me I had some mind management to do, you know, we talk about that a lot. But I think for me as a christian woman, I felt like it was really selfish to think about myself and do what I wanted. And then one day I read in Philippians 24, it says each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests but about the interests of others as well. And that really changed my thinking because it didn't say don't think about your own interests.

It said just not only and for some reason I read that at just the right time and I'm like, wait, I can have my own interest that the whole time. I read that 1000 times. No, right. And it's just not only my, but the interest of others, but I have been so busy focusing on being concerned about the interest Of others that I had neglected. Yeah, right all the time and we neglect ourselves and then we have a midlife moment and we're like, well, now what, I don't even know who I am anymore or as we get even older, I'm not there yet, but I'm sure at some point people get to a certain age, 70s and 80s and if they've neglected themselves all that time, I would imagine that that's a lonely place to be because at that age you start losing friends and loved ones and now you're just really by yourself. Yeah. You know, I feel like my mom was a phenomenal example in this because as we were growing up, even my mom loved to play tennis with her best friend, still her best friend to the state, they've been best friends since before I was born and they would have me, you know, my mom would bring me in that little moses basket, little stick me over in the corner of the tennis court and her and her best friend would play tennis and we eventually grew up going to play tennis all the time because it was right across the street that high school was growing up.

And so we did that all the time. And my mom loved movies. So we would go to the movies all the time and that's one thing that I enjoy that I'm doing more of with the kids because as they're getting older, they can start watching the movies I like to watch. Yes. And um camping. My mom really loved having parties and so we would have parties at our house and she invite all her friends and invite friends or every sunday we would have a barbecue and then we can bring our friends over. So I feel like she was really good at being able to do things that she light even as we were growing up. And it's interesting because now there are things that I love to do, expose my kids doing to build those memories with. And so it's really, it's really powerful to be able to enjoy some of those things that you do, weave them into your own life, them into your um, you know, your schedule somehow. You just have to be intentional about it, but you can do it, it's possible and how great for our Children to see that.

You know, I think for me I deserve healthy moms. Yes. They deserve healthy moms and they need to see yes. And they need to see what it's like when you take care of yourself and Stewart yourself and be a good friend to yourself. That being selfish that needs to be modeled. And I think for me when my kids were young, selflessness was a high value for the circle I was in. So it just seems like you were lifted up or you were encouraged more when you just denied yourself denied yourself. So I kind of grew up with Yeah, that's just what I do now I'm married, I'm a mom. I'm a christian. So I just deny by myself. And then like I said, you just wake up and go now what? Or you lose a part of yourself. And that happens with a lot of moms and studies have shown research has shown that women that take care of themselves to show self interest without selfishness are happier. And like we said earlier, when you feel better about yourself, it impacts every relationship around you. So more power to that. And I have to say this is just a joke now. But when you said do things or I said, we're talking about doing things for yourself that bring joy and like I really love to eat.

But the first thing that popped in my head, I'm like, and my granddaughter who's two really loves to eat. So that's the running joke, like yeah, like granny and Sky are going to eat a lot of food together. But as I get older, it brings me a lot of joy in the moment. But I have to be careful because you know, moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips and I'm at that age now, I'm like, oh yeah, I just gotta balance that out and take care of myself. But I really do love eating in case you were all wondering, that's one thing that really brings me a lot of joy asked my husband and how sad you were just sharing with me a story at that church there. Someone brought in this chocolate cake describing it like, wow and you deprived yourself well, I did because it was sunday morning and so we have a coffee table and Peep Have been bringing donuts and cookies and cake. And so honestly this brings up this topic, but to really steward my body, I know that putting sugar in it first thing in the morning, I typically don't eat breakfast because I'm just not hungry eight or 9 am.

So Yeah, I'm like, this would not be good for me. I'll be 30 minutes into service and want to go take a nap. So this is just not a good idea for me. But I'm telling you that chocolate cake looks so good. It had like mousse and whipped cream, it was just yummy. But yes, I know myself and the greater good was to not eat it, although it would have brought me joy for about five minutes while I was eating it. I knew I was like, no, I'm going to be in a sugar coma and I'm not going to make it through the service and we said kind of towards the front, so that wouldn't be a good thing. But yeah, that's so funny. Alright everyone, well, thank you for tuning back in today and if you are looking to get a little help, A little guidance, a little accountability. If you even want help with discovering how your relationship with yourself is going please reach out us, you can find Claudine over at Claudine Sweeney dot com and Ashley at mind over chaos dot com. And we are here for you. We hope you enjoyed this episode and please also go back through the rest of the episodes.

We have, we have a lot of great stuff as we've mentioned a few episodes today on boundaries, commitment to self and we also, I forgot to mention, we have one on self love episode 14. Go back through those. There's a lot of valuable information there that you know, even if you're feeling unsure about having a coach at the moment, a lot of what we talked about in our programs is also on these episodes. So if you have the time it's free, go back and listen to those episodes to help strengthen you so you can thrive and rise up and shine. And also please as a wonderful favor, tell your friends here, Ashley and Claudine, we would love for you to like or subscribe and share with a friend as well. So we hope you enjoyed this episode and we hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. See you next time. Alright, everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the Rice Up and shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button. So you never miss an episode.

And while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today. If you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Claudine Sweeney dot com and Ashley at Mind over chaos dot com. Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life.

Ep. 140 Relationship with Self
Ep. 140 Relationship with Self
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