“Being a friend to yourself is no mere metaphor or purely sentimental idea. It is the basis of all relationship, because it is a fundamental recognition of soul.” Thomas Moore
Would you take better care of yourself
Would you be kinder to yourself
Would you be more forgiving of your Human imperfections if you realized your
Best friend was yourself
Who is always with you everywhere
Who is on your side when others are unfair
And tell me who will never let you down in
Who will always see you get your share And that’s why I am a best friend to myself
And I take me out whenever I feel low
And I make my life as happy as a best
I’m as nice to me as anyone I know
(lyrics to Best Friend by Helen Reddy)
Sooner or late in life you will hear someone say you cannot be a friend to others until you are a friend to yourself.
Or you need to be a friend to yourself.
That is true. But how do you do it?
Do you act like a friend to yourself?
When you make mistakes are you compassionate or judgemental with yourself?
One of the biggest barriers to good mental health in the aftermath of childhood trauma is learning to like yourself.
When your abuser has spent your childhood putting you down. Telling you that you are useless, or unloveable, or a disaster, or always wrong, difficult, trying … you name it, it has been said. When that has happened you tend to not have a high opinion of yourself.
Do you remember as a child trying to be good? Really good. Because you were always told you were bad. So this day you were going to be good so your Mum and Dad did not have to get angry with you.
And you worked really hard to do all the rights things. You did what you were asked without pause. You spoke politely when spoken to. You kept alert. You asked if there were things you could do.
Your measure of success was not being abused.
You worked hard, but you failed.
Your father or mother or both abused you and you were crushed because you were such a bad person.
Small wonder you feel like a bad person when someone is rude or aggressive towards you.
As a child you were not aware that you were not being bad. It was your abusers who were bad.
As an adult, you have taken that belief so tightly into yourself that you aren’t even aware that you always judge yourself harshly when people are rude or aggressive towards you.
You also wonder why you feel so crushed and bad.
It is time for self compassion and awareness.
Maybe you can remember a time you tried to be good. Maybe you have forgotten such a time. Maybe you can remember feeling you were a bad person and maybe you can’t.
The important thing is to acknowledge the hurt and pain.
Place your hands on your heart and take a releasing breath in and out. Let all the hurt and pain flow out with your breath. Breathe in cleansing and breathe out the hurt and pain.
When you are ready, carefully examine what your inner voice is telling you about the hurt and pain you are currently feeling.
Are there any statements that come up for you? These can be clues to the underlying emotions and beliefs.
Comfort yourself, just as you would comfort a child.
Send love and warmth through your hands into your heart.
Talk to that hurt part.
“It’s okay darling. I am here. I love you. I am here to protect you. You are safe with me.” And so on.
Allow that part to feel the love and compassion of a friend.
Always remember, you are kind to your friends, so be kind to yourself.
Being your best friend. Treating yourself with compassion and love is vital.
Do this instead of judging and berating yourself.
Making mistakes is human. It is okay to sometimes get things wrong.
Being treated unfairly by others is unfair, and it doesn’t make you are bad person. It is actually the other person who is being bad. So give yourself some slack. Give yourself comfort and love and compassion.
If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with healing from the hurts of today or of your past, please contact me on 0409396608 or email@example.com
If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with interesting information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here: http://eepurl.com/g8Jpiz