A kind, loving, meaningful relationship with ourselves is based on telling ourselves the truth, meeting our needs and yearnings, prioritizing pleasure, accepting ourselves, forgiving ourselves, connecting to our bodies, connecting to our hearts.

So a vital part of building a kind, loving, meaningful relationship with ourselves is regularly checking in. Tuning in. Getting curious (without judgment).

It’s asking ourselves questions. It’s asking questions that help us to nurture ourselves and make supportive decisions. Here’s a list of questions to do just that:

  • Where do I feel depleted?
  • How does my body feel when I’m around the people I see every day? What do I notice? Do I notice sensations of relaxation or tension? Anger or weariness or joy? Why? What might this be connected to?
  • What am I struggling with? What can I change? Who can I ask for help and support?
  • What am I yearning for?
  • How can I treat myself with kindness in this situation?
  • Where am I beating myself up?
  • What do I need to grieve?
  • What am I struggling to accept about myself?
  • What does my body need?
  • What stories am I telling myself about myself, about who I am, about what I deserve, about mistakes and decisions I’ve made?
  • What does pleasure mean to me? What brings me joy? How can I incorporate these activities into my days?
  • What really connects me to myself?
  • What would I like my relationship with myself to look like? To feel like?
  • What is best for me today? 

Our relationship with ourselves is no doubt complicated. After all, we are complicated. There may be good days and bad days and everything in between. Wherever you are with your relationship, however you feel about yourself right now, start exploring these questions. Explore them regularly. Maybe make it a weekly ritual to sit down and explore the questions that resonate with you. Write down your answers. Over time, see if you can spot certain patterns or themes.

Our relationship with ourselves survives and thrives on communication—like any relationship, with anyone. It is a continuous dialogue. A continuous conversation about our experiences, our sensations, our needs. It is you taking a pause in your day, in your week, to examine how things are going, how you are doing. So even if you feel terrible about yourself right now, do just that: Pick a question that you like or that interests you in some way, jot it down, and have a conversation. No pressure. No expectations. No judgment. Just the truth. The heartfelt truth.

Photo by Roman Kraft.