I've been thinking about happiness a lot lately. What does it take to be truly happy? I'll admit that I've sometimes thought once my career reached a certain point that I would be happier. Some people think once they can afford a house in a desirable neighborhood they'll be happier. Some of us are waiting for our spouse or our kids to become happier so that we can be too. Why do we focus on things outside of ourselves to make us happy? Improving the relationship with ourselves seems to be a good place to start feeling happier.
Many of us are good at meeting the needs of others like family and friends, but not so good at meeting our own needs. A wise friend once told me years ago that I should talk to myself in the same voice that I would talk to my best friend.
If I accomplished nothing today, I might tell myself that I'm not a good business owner, mother, or wife because the house is messy, phone calls didn't get returned, and nothing is made for dinner. But if my best friend told me that she accomplished nothing today, I might tell her that she is an amazing, hard working woman who deserved a day of rest, and that anything she did today was exactly enough.
If I'm in physical pain because my back is hurting, I might tell myself to push through and stop complaining. But if my best friend is in pain, I would encourage her to take it easy and go to the doctor, or try a yoga class and book a massage.
When I'm stressed out about work or relationships, I often tell myself “I should be able to handle this, I need to toughen up!”. But if my best friend came to me stressed, I would try to be comforting and understanding. I would offer to go along with her to a a meditation class, or lend her a book that helped me.
We always hear the phrase “you are your own worst enemy” so how about try being your own best friend? This week I'm going to think about what ways my life would be different if I decided to take care of myself in all same loving ways that I would take care of my most precious friends.