What if you were your own best friend?

We know we can be our own worst enemy. We know intellectually that our reactions to our situation are what creates much of our suffering. I’ve written about practices to counteract our shame and self-defeating messages.

We all need a little more of this during the tough times...
We all need a little more of this during the tough times…

All of this self-help stuff is about learning to get through challenges, rather than making them vanish. And while everyone can count on more challenges of one sort or another, WE have the advantage of familiarity  with what are challenges are about and how they are going to look and feel. We can anticipate our responses that hinder rather than help.

So start preparing now for the next gauntlet the universe is going to throw down.

Question: Are you aware of the unkind things you say to yourself, or are they happening under your radar?

Practice listening. Ask yourself whether you’d say these things to a good friend? Would a good friend nag you about all the ways you’ve messed up or how lazy or stupid you are? What would you do for a friend in your situation? I hope he or she would point out the things you can do rather than everything you’ve already messed up.

Dealing with ongoing health issues is a marathon that keeps on going. We need all the support and kindness and friendship we can get.

Challenge: Become increasingly aware of the actual words your unfriendly voice says to you during difficult times. Get the words for the judgments and criticisms and blaming and nagging. Ask what a good friend might be saying or doing instead. Ask yourself daily what you’d like from a friend and if you can, give yourself that.

You’re in this for the long haul. They call it that for a reason…    ~Z