The other night, during a Skype co-counseling session with an amazing and insightful friend, I remarked how I sometimes catch myself in a weak moment saying some pretty harsh things to myself that (1) I would never say to someone else, and (2) I would never let anyone else say to another person without intervening.
True dat. (And anyone who is surprised to hear that I still have those moments obviously didn’t read the small print.) Have you ever had this experience of turning on yourself? Leaving your own side and becoming the aggressor? Funny thing–it has never helped the situation for me. Unhappiness doesn’t motivate me. It just makes me unhappy.
I mentioned to her that I thought it would be useful to (once again) intentionally anchor an unshakeable sense of what Carl Rogers called “unconditional positive regard” for myself–the same attitude that we always strive to bring to our clients in our counseling sessions. Make it one of my unquestioned assumptions, one of the premises and pillars of my existence–no matter how tired or hungry I am, no matter how few things on my To Do list that I accomplished that day, or even if I had just emerged from a particularly ungraceful “blunder” (AKA an “opportunity to learn”). No withholding of love for myself. Take that question right off the table.
So, she–wonderful person that she is–decided to intervene in the process when I saw her in San Francisco last weekend for a training workshop. She presented me with a gift, a friendship bracelet. And although it was a gift from her, her stated intention was that it really should be a gift from me to myself. A tangible reminder, always there, that I am my own best friend. Double pinky promise. No take-backs. Best Friends Forever.
She made it well. I don’t think it’s coming off anytime soon. This just may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
How about you? Do you have a BFF? I think I know someone who is just perfect for you.