Life is as good as
your relationship with yourself.
~ Cheri Huber
Many people are unhappy or dissatisfied with their lives. They often seek therapy to figure out how to have a fuller, more enjoyable life, with better relationships and more satisfying work. Often the first things people focus on that seem to be wrong in their lives are externals: job, partner, friends, family and other things outside themselves.
As time goes on in therapy, attention often shifts from the external to the internal world. Certainly there are many external circumstance in life that you have no control over that are challenging, difficult and tragic. Yet frequently over time there is a realization that how you relate to yourself effects how you relate to the external circumstances and world. If your inner world is inhabited by disconnection, judgement, self-doubt, distrust, low self-worth and fear, it is unlikely that anything in life will feel good.
In therapy a lot of time may be spent exploring how your relationship to yourself developed in this painful way. And then we undertake the often arduous, yet fulfilling and so-important journey of healing that most primordial relationship.
Your relationship with yourself is the only one you will have for your entire life. Many people try hard to avoid dealing with this essential relationship through endless distractions and addictions, but at the end of the day, you come home to yourself.
What better investment of time and energy could there be than in improving your relationship with yourself?And it comes with the added benefit that your experience of life will also improve substantially. As the quote above states, your experience of life is a reflection of your relationship with yourself.
Peggy Handler, MFT, is a psychotherapist in San Francisco's Noe Valley