One of the defining tenets of gestalt therapy is an emphasis on contact…with yourself, others, your environment, and for many, a Higher Power. The ability to have healthy contact is a prime mark of psychological well-being.
What surprises some people is that one of the most important relationships we have is with ourselves. We have thoughts about ourselves, we have feelings about ourselves, and we talk to ourselves–thus we have a relationships with ourselves. And this relationship is fundamental to all other relationships. Cheri Huber writes (as I quoted in another post):
Here is the secret to the whole thing, I think. If I see myself as worthy and lovable, and if I act in the world from that place, people will see and respond accordingly.*
Our relationship with ourselves is also a favorite topic of Mariah Fenton Gladis of the Pennsylvania Gestalt Center. She coined the term: “Arrive already loved” to describe how we should begin a new relationship–already having a loving relationship with ourselves.
What kind of relationship do you have with yourself? Do you treat yourself in a kind and understanding manner, showing compassion and patience toward yourself? Or do you say harsh things to yourself and call yourself names? How you view yourself and behave toward yourself will make all the difference in your happiness and your relationships with others.
*There Is Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate, Cheri Huber, Keep It Simple Books, 2001. (Cheri Huber’s website)