livinglifefully.com

March 18
   
  
Friendship with oneself is all
important, because without it
one cannot be friends with
anyone else in the world.

Eleanor Roosevelt

  

Today's Meditation:

I didn't used to be a very good friend to myself at all.  Any shortcomings that I had, anything that I did wrong, any challenges that I didn't live up to, would be fodder for me to attack me--to get angry at myself and be rather merciless with myself.  I was living in a perpetual Catch-22 situation, in which things weren't happening in my life because of the ways that I thought about myself, and I thought about myself in those ways because things weren't happening in my life.

Helen Reddy wrote a nice little song in which she sang,
"I make myself as happy as a best friend would / I'm as nice to me as anyone I know."  It's a song that resonates with me because it reminds me of the importance of valuing myself and treating myself well.  There are times when it's difficult, for people sometimes put pressures on us that make it difficult for us to treat ourselves well without risking something else--such as a job or a friendship--but sometimes it's important to make sure that we're willing to make sacrifices in order to treat ourselves as a friend, just as we would make sacrifices for our friends.

My friendship with myself opens the doors to other friendships.  When I treat myself well, I know what it means to be treated well and I can thus treat others in a similar way, as they deserve to be treated.  Jesus of Nazareth put it quite simply:  Love others as you love yourself.  Eleanor says you can't be friends with others if you can't be friends with yourself, and Jesus implied that you can't love others unless you love yourself.  And it really boils down to common sense, and something that we witness time and again--people are unable to give to others something they don't know themselves. 

If you're going to be a good friend to yourself, how are you going to start?  What can you do for yourself?  How can you be kinder to yourself, more sympathetic, more compassionate?  This sort of thing does take practice and effort, and the sooner we begin to make an active effort to be friends with ourselves, the sooner we'll be able to begin to give our friends the best of ourselves, with nothing held back.

Questions to consider:

Why does it sound so strange to talk about being friends "with ourselves"? 

What kinds of things will we do for ourselves if we actually treat ourselves as friends?  Why don't we tend to do such things more often?

Why are so few people willing or able to teach us about the value of being friends with ourselves? 

For further thought:
 
When we don't love ourselves unconditionally, the limited, judgmental,
conditional love we give ourselves is all we have to give anyone.
When we see ourselves as flawed, we also see others as flawed.

unattributed

    

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