I never really thought of myself as a "responsible adult," so I counted myself lucky to have married one. His somewhat critical assessments of me seemed fair, because I judged those same things in myself.
When things started to come to an end, I found a book called How to be An Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving by David Richo in order to "save my marriage." Instead it helped me to let go. It also helped me realize that you must have these things in your relationship with yourself before you can have them in a relationship with someone else.
Even after my divorce, I found myself most attracted to men who judged the same things in me as I judged in myself. I was involved with a few very kind men who didn't see these judgements at all, but things just never quite felt right. I started to wonder if I was sabotaging my own relationships because I was attracted to that judgement.
So, I spent some time trying to "fix" myself, until one day I realized that perhaps instead of needing to completely heal to find a good relationship, I needed to open my heart in order to heal.
Within a week of this realization I was in contact with my amazing Guy!
According to David Richo, there are 5 As involved with mindful loving. These are needs we have in relationships that we must first give to ourselves.
"Attention means consciousness of the interconnectedness of all things."* As a sensitive and/or excitable soul, it is easier to put your attention on things outside of yourself, but you must be sure to bring your attention inside as well.
"Acceptance means saying an unconditional yes to the sobering givens of existence, the facts of life."* This doesn't mean you can't take steps to make changes, but you must first accept reality as it is without judgment.
"Appreciation means the attitude of gratitude."* Appreciate not only what you have around you, but what you have within you.
"Affection means the love we feel for others and for the universe."* You are likely great at giving affection to others - turn that around to yourself as well!
"Allowing means that we grant to others and protect in ourselves the right to live freely and without outside control"* Let yourself be fully you!
The next time you feel like you need to "fix yourself," try opening your heart to yourself and offer it attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection and allowing. Maybe you'll find like I did, that there's actually nothing to "fix" only to heal and healing starts from within.
*How to be An Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving by David Richo, p. 50