Relationships work because two people choose each other. In anticipation of another person choosing you, would you choose you? Knowing yourself; your strengths and weaknesses, your tendency to be emotionally reactive, your tolerance for others weaknesses, your avoidance of conflict or tendency to indulge yourself, looking at your personality, social interactions, initiative with others or inclination to withdraw, thinking about your work ethic, ability to slowdown and rest, considering your education and intelligence, how well you care for yourself or don’t care for yourself and your character as a person, would you choose to be in a relationship with another person who had the exact same characteristics as you do?
If you would choose you, then allow me to extend qualified congratulations to you because you are part of a small percentage of people who would choose to be in a relationship with themselves. The exception for these congratulations is that narcissists would also choose themselves because of their lack of empathy or appreciation for their personal weaknesses or limitations. Given that exception, a person with a healthy self-image would choose to be in a relationship with himself or herself even given their frailties and shortcomings because they have forgiven themselves or are in process of personal acceptance.
NO, of course Not
If you would not choose you, then how can you respect the person who has chosen you? Have you pulled the wool over your partner’s eyes? Have you tricked him or her to choose you when you wouldn’t choose you? Perhaps you’ve not revealed some of those qualities you would not ever choose in you. Forgiving yourself is critically important for an intimate relationship because that history or those characteristics you’re avoiding are mastering you rather than you having mastery over them. As you grow closer to your partner, the power of those secrets will prevent the closeness you want over time.
Maybe you’ve had the courage to tell your partner those things you wouldn’t choose in yourself, and he or she still chose to be in the relationship with you. Often this is the case, but you don’t want to escape into your partner running from those characteristics in yourself or that history in your past that you’ve not forgiven yourself for. Choosing yourself is important even with your character defects because self-respect is essential for maintaining a healthy ongoing personal relationship.
How do You Choose You?
Choosing you begins with surrender, humility and brokenness. Self-acceptance begins with an awakening of your need for acceptance and forgiveness beyond yourself. The smallest openness to receive and apply that acceptance to yourself is the beginning place. Efforts from self-sufficiency, self-determination and self-reliance are centripetal in nature or moving inward and are dead ends toward fully accepting and choosing you.
Surrender, humility and brokenness lead to openness and vulnerability yielding to a spiritual acceptance that transcends your character defects, failures and disappointments so that these no longer master you. Being able to admit these openly and honestly to yourself and others reveals a self-acceptance that is centrifugal or moving outward toward others. Incrementally appropriating this transcendent acceptance of you frees you to choose you.