Building on this week’s earlier messages, let’s talk about the most important relationship in your life – the one you have with yourself. It is possible to be your own best friend. In fact, it’s critical. Oh yes, and it doesn’t mean that your “outside” best friends are any less important to you. They are vital, as well.
Think of someone you regard as a dear friend. If no such person exists in your life, dream one up. The time you spend with this person brings you a special pleasure, doesn’t it? You tend to be loving, protective, and solicitous toward him or her, and you really have their best interests at heart, don’t you? You really care.
Now, ask yourself, “Do I give myself the same kind of care and consideration?” On the basis of your self-treatment, many of us would truthfully need to answer, “Oh, heavens no!” If this is your answer, ask yourself why. Maybe you will see some negative programming from the past that taught you to suppress or deny your own needs. Maybe you were taught that caring for yourself was selfish and wrong, that others should come first. As a result, you engineer defeats and deprivations, either automatically or unconsciously, that can leave you feeling victimized.
You can’t really treat others any better than you treat yourself without hurting your own self-esteem. Your self-esteem is of vital importance, for without it you will have less to give, be able to receive less, and in general live a less-than-satisfying and fulfilling life.
So, if you want to be a good friend to others, consider this piece of advice: Learn to be your own best friend – first. If you haven’t done this before, that’s OK. There is no time like the present to begin this new friendship. You will find that it is foundational – indeed, transformational – to your lasting happiness.