There is so much emphasis on finding friends when we are growing up. I remember buying so many BFF necklaces throughout my childhood. First of all, they were so cute and I love jewelry so I was a sucker for them. But then giving the other half to a friend was so exciting. Seeing the joy on your friend’s face that you helped put there was the added thrill for the purchase. My question is, why aren’t we taught to look for that same thrill in ourselves? We are always seeking approval from people around us but never from within. This can undoubtedly create a fundamental problem in all of us as we grow into adulthood.
We say yes to so many obligations that we really want to say no to. We bend over backward to help solve problems for others when we are harboring so many of our own to resolve. We take on extra work, put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect, and never quite know when to say enough is enough. We then shame ourselves for not quite finishing things when we want them done and find some way to consciously or subconsciously punish ourselves. My next question is, would you expect that pressure and outcome out of your best friend? Most likely the answer is “no.” I cherish my friends more than all the material things one can buy in a lifetime. I am truly grateful that I learned the value of friendship at a very young age and I never swayed. My friends are part of my family and I feel so blessed to have them in my life. They make my life much more exciting as well as safe, however, all of these qualities should be right in the center of myself. At the center of us all. We make time for lunch dates, phone calls, shopping trips, workouts, girls’ nights, etc. with our friends. But ask yourself, are you truly making time to be with the most important friend you could have…yourself? I am not talking about sitting down and reading a book once a month and thinking you are doing any kind of deep-dive within. I mean, are you making time EVERY SINGLE DAY? That is what it takes to develop your relationship with yourself. It doesn’t have to be hours a day but ten minutes here and ten minutes there throughout your day. Find time for a quick walk alone, meditation, doodle, sitting on the grass, deep breathing, anything that allows you to reconnect.
You most likely didn’t learn how important it is to develop your connection with yourself while growing up because it wasn’t really talked about, at least not on a consistent basis. We were told to take care of our bodies, do well in school, be nice to others, and when we have a problem look outside of ourselves for help. We weren’t really told that we can learn a lot from sitting and daydreaming, journaling when we have feelings come up, and stopping and reflecting on our day to see what felt right and what didn’t. Here is the thing, we might not have had a lot of experience with making ourselves our best friend but that doesn’t mean we can’t change that. We are the ones who get to decide how our story goes. We have the pen and paper. We can change the narrative at any time but it has to be a conscious choice by you and only you. Does it take some work? Yep! Does it feel uncomfortable in the beginning? You bet! Will it be worth it in the long run? Without a doubt! So the next time you give your friend good advice or even just a compliment, make sure to give yourself one as well. Start paying attention when you are interacting with other people. You know inside that you are a good person and a great friend to others, and by no means stop, but just give yourself a pat on the back after. Say to yourself, I am a good friend to so and so, I am proud of the friend I am and I am proud of the friend I am to myself. In this case, you just had a two-for-one special. You helped make a friend, and yourself, feel good, and now two humans can go about their day in a higher vibration. The magic happens once you start to make a habit out of telling yourself all the lovely things you say to others to yourself. You start to perk up more. You show up differently in your own life. You start to trust yourself and know when to say no to the things you once said yes to. You start to become better with boundaries. Not only are you setting more boundaries but you are actually happy to do that for yourself. You have learned that too many obligations exhaust you and you can read that about yourself now. You have more energy and joy because you know the most important person has got your back, and that person is you!