Are you your own best friend yet?
Can you cheer yourself up when you’re feeling low, or do you have to rely on someone else to change how you feel? Do you know your best qualities, as well as the ones that need some improvement? Most of all, do you accept yourself for who you are?
These are all questions your best friend would answer ‘Yes’ to, about you… but can you say yes, yourself?
So many of us go through life with the mindset of just getting through the day. Our focus is on other people, other people’s thoughts & words, and other people’s events. Social Media has certainly magnified other people’s lives in our eyesight & mind. But until it’s brought to our attention by a life changing event, a breakdown, or feeling like we are lost, we rarely take a moment to connect with ourselves… And I mean truly get in there.
Over the past few years, I’ve gone on a journey of getting to know myself. From the womb to age 19, I had always lived with someone else. And during those years, I could usually find some sort of outside reason of why I was happy, or why I was unhappy. I’d either be admiring someone else or blaming someone else. Sure, I was aware of some of my own feelings, and I knew what made me passionate, but if I asked myself why I felt those things, I probably wouldn’t have a very helpful answer. I didn’t know or trust who Anna was at all.
But then, I moved to a foreign country and lived on my own. When I came home at night, I had no one there but me, myself, and I. At first, I felt all kinds of loneliness. I would sit at the edge of my bed, stare at myself in a mirror, and resent myself. I questioned everything I did, and certainly was not my own best friend. I also had no one else to blame for the things I wasn’t happy about. But because I was in this foreign country, all by myself & couldn’t speak the native language, I started to form a new relationship with who I was. I went on dates with myself, I explored the city with myself, and I learned to take care of myself, physically. Seriously, I used to be embarrassed to go to a restaurant by myself. Now, I think it’s the greatest! I get to order what I want, wear what I want, and it doesn’t even matter if I get food stuck in my teeth.
But most importantly, I started to ask myself questions. Why am I upset? What excites me? What do I love about myself? Can I choose to change my thoughts today? It was through these questions, patience, and alone time that I became a true ally to who I am, now. Me, myself & I have a rock solid connection today.
So get to know how to speak with you, how to love you, and how to be compassionate towards YOU. Yes, you. Be kind and forgive yourself when things get tough. Cut yourself some slack and know that it’s okay!
Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., goes through five important steps for connecting with yourself. They involve noticing your feelings, naming them, accepting them, having solo fun, and being kind to yourself. You can check them out here… http://bit.ly/2khDG7m
Those are just the beginning, simple steps that you can take to start on your self connection journey. Yoga, meditation, running, & driving long distances are also great ways to get in touch with who you are. Ask yourself what you’re passionate about. Ask yourself if you’re truly happy… and if you aren’t, what can you do about it? Ask yourself why you do what you do every day. And if you’re unsure, it’s time to reassess how you’re spending your time and energy!
Checking up on how you’re doing, at your core, is what any best friend would do. And the best part is, you can be completely honest. “[W]e need to be grounded in who we are before we can have healthy relationships with others,” says Jennifer Kogan, LICSW, a psychotherapist in Washington, D.C. (www.pyschocentral.com) We must learn about ourselves, and we must learn to love ourselves. Because if we don’t recognize the love in ourselves, than we can’t give out our love to others. And isn’t that the goal?
So give yourself the gift of connection, today, and make your “me time” a priority in your schedule. Two to five minutes of time, to check in, will make all of the difference.
So what have you learned about yourself, today? Tweet me @AnnaEastActs with your answers!
(Me at an abandoned restaurant called “Anna’s” in Savannah, Georgia)
5 Ways to Strengthen Your Connection to Yourself Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/05/27/5-ways-to-strengthen-your-connection-to-yourself/
5 Strategies for Self-Compassion Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/06/27/5-strategies-for-self-compassion/