A while back Gilda Evans and I decided to do a blog exchange. This short article is now live at her site Girl Talk.
A few of us are able to show love and compassion to ourselves every day no matter what is going on in our lives. Most of us have some days when we get really down on ourselves and beat ourselves up with some pretty strong inner language. Some of us beat ourselves up almost every day. No matter where you fall in the spectrum of self-love, I think you’ll find some wisdom in this short article.
Becoming Your Own Best Friend
by Janet Nestor
A positive friendship is built through a mutual on-going communication that provides satisfaction and fosters love, kindness, compassion, and joy.
Since all relationships begin with you, it is up to you to maintain and build them. This includes your relationship with you. Becoming your own best friend depends on your ability to be a loving inner parent; no more criticism and judgment, no more verbal battering, no more hiding from your inner sparkle.
Your relationship with your self is the most important one you’ll ever have because it determines the quality of all other relationships in your life, even your religious and spiritual ones. Through developing and maintaining a sense of competence, worthiness, and belonging you prevent the feelings of aloneness, emptiness, and negativity from growing and overtaking your life. You can easily learn to see the world in terms of we, rather than me.
The big question then is, “How do I build a friendship with myself that allows me to provide positive self-care, maintain self-worth, a sense of competency, and a resilience that allows me to navigate the ups and downs of life?” If you are struggling with perceived limitations or just want to improve your already positive life, here are some tips to help you create a self-appreciating, fulfilling life that is built upon a foundation of positive self-awareness, and unconditional love.
- Let go of perfectionistic thinking and behavior and let yourself off the “I coulda, shoulda, what if” hook.
- View all of life’s problems and issues as stepping stones into self-awareness and happiness instead of road blocks that keep you down and disappointed.
- Forgive your parents who are human and not perfect and your siblings who used to enjoy pointing out your flaws.
- Develop a habit of positive thought and let go of the habit of getting caught-up in repetitive, negative thoughts and feelings.
- Begin living in the here and now and stop re-living every negative life experience you’ve ever had. There is no pass or fail in life: only living and loving the best way you can.
- No pressure or control needed. Allow your future to unfold naturally and joyfully.
- Realize you always have a choice no matter the magnitude of the dilemma you face.
- Feel the fear and instead of stopping or worrying about what might happen, open your mouth and sing a happy song. If you don’t know one, make one up. I promise you, singing a happy song loud and proud is an instant fear stopper.
- Allow yourself some free time when you are not a slave to the clock and the calendar.
- Open your heart to love – for yourself, for the Earth, for your fellow travelers who share your journey through this magnificent adventure called life.
I can’t think of a better way to end an article on self-love than a quote from Helen Keller: “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”