You Must be Your Own Best Friend!
This comes up a lot in therapy. People do not prioritize a relationship with themselves. In fact, they are scared of knowing the person that they are and will even develop behaviors to escape or distract themselves from themselves. Whether it’s relationships, working, substances, food, etc. all are ways to not know yourself. We are with ourselves 24 hours a day - more than anyone else. So, it would make sense that we would be a priority to ourselves. However, it’s often quite the opposite. You must learn to know who you are. I remember a time in my life before I got divorced and I was talking to my mother and she knew that I wasn’t doing well. I kept saying that I was so happy and everything was ok. It’s not an easy job to lie to yourself. At some point you will lose yourself. Still, in that moment my mother said to me “you are never stuck”. At that point, I had never thought that it was an option. I accepted my fate that I would be unhappy in a relationship in which I didn’t exist anymore. However, when my mother said that to me it planted a seed of hope. I hadn’t allowed myself to even ponder leaving as that just wasn’t an option in my head. Slowly that seed started to take root and I realized that I wasn’t stuck! I had options. There is another way. Many other ways. Did I want my son to never know the energetic, creative, strong woman I was? Where did that person go? Overtime, I decided that no matter how old I was, how different the world may be since I was “single,” I wasn’t going to “endure” life anymore. That is not my purpose in life and I needed to pursue my truth and find myself again. I started to realize that this was an inside job. I needed to know myself, make peace with myself and be myself. So, I began the adventure of learning about myself again. I started to pursue all of my interests and discover myself again, what do I want or need? Who is this person? I can’t say it hasn’t been a long journey that at times has been painful. However, I started to learn who I was. I was strong, resilient, loved life and needed connections with people. I turned my pain into helping others. Many questions have led me on a path that is uniquely me. On this path, I discovered me. What my strengths and talents are. What are my weaknesses. And loving all of it because I’m the only me there is. There are no mistakes. I can honestly say I have a really good relationship with myself. I like be alone a lot because I like hanging out with myself. Often, clients will come in and they have built their whole lives running away from themselves. So, when I ask them, “what do you like to do” they will look at me like a deer in headlights. “What do mean what do I like”? Well I don’t know I’ve never thought about that.” It’s not a surprise to me that they are experiencing depression and anxiety because they haven’t taken the time to take care of themselves and have a relationship with themselves. As you travel down the path of your truth you will learn to know that when something hard comes your way you can trust yourself that you can handle it. You will learn to know what you like to do and do it! You will be able to say what you need and not worry about upsetting someone else. Say NO! Confidence comes with experience and if you don’t allow yourself to experience YOU, you will always be searching for something to fill that void. We all have the choice to pursue our own internal mental well-being and quite frankly the behaviors that you do that you wish you could change are coming from a lack of attention toward yourself and not treating yourself as the most important person to yourself. This is not selfish. The more you are at peace with yourself the more you will be able to be there for others. I often share with my clients my flaws and we laugh about it. Despite my ‘flaws’ I have confidence in myself because I have experienced ‘me’ and have been through a lot with myself. The result is that I am free today. For the most part, I just try to be the best me every day and hopefully help someone else. The truth is everyone is going through this human experience and have their struggles as well. I’m hoping that this blog can help some people get through these struggles easier with these tips I’ve learned the hard way as well as working with people for 15 years. No need to reinvent the wheel! So, introduce yourself to yourself! You may realize that you are fabulous and wonder why you didn’t get to know yourself sooner! You are awesome! I know, because you are reading this😊!