Take a Vow That From Now on You Gon' be Your Own Best Friend
We all know the mind is super complex — probably more than we’ll ever really know, and that is OK. It is perfectly fine to admit to not knowing something. In my opinion, that’s how we open ourselves to learning and receiving. But, it can be hard since we’re constantly bombarded with information and ~facts~ everywhere we turn, especially on the internet. It’s as though everything that there is to know is out there (probably online) somewhere and all we need to do is find it and remember it. The constant flooding of information at our fingertips is so aggressively loud, so loud that our intuition is usually silenced as a result. But loud does not necessarily mean right or better — it’s just right your face, making it difficult to turn away.
I can attest to how hard it really is to tune out external noises (i.e. the news, social media, the people in my life) and look internally, within myself, for a source knowledge. But, I also can share a first step that really helped me — and that is to befriend your own mind; to start thinking about your mind as a friend — the closest friend you will have in the world. Naturally, your closest friend is someone who will help you along your journey, right? Through ups and downs. Sometimes, it can feel like our mind is against us — especially if it’s in a cycle of negativity. But the way you would notice the changes in your beloved friend’s mood on various days, you’ll start to look at your mind in the same way. It is not because you are negative person, but there is probably something bigger that is putting your mind in a down and negative mood.
Imagine your friend came crying into your arms because something devastating happened to them; what would you do? Maybe you would allow them some time to cry it out, vent or rant about it if they need to. Essentially, you would make space for them to feel what they are feeling — like, really feel it. Once it’s out of their system, what do you think you would do next? I would probably start to ask them how I can make it better or what they needed from me to make things easier. And, like the good friend you are, you’d also try to find a way to help them feel better. You would know that it probably cannot be fixed overnight, but still you wouldn’t easily give up on your friend. You would be committed to helping them get through the dark times with your hand holding theirs, right? So, what I’m getting at is that it’s OK to celebrate the small accomplishments, while understanding that the healing process, as a whole, is just that — a process — where every teeny, tiny step in the desired direction is worth celebrating.
Our minds need this same type of nurturing from us — especially after we’ve experienced trauma. Once the full range of emotions have come and gone, sit and ask yourself — how can I change this? How can I make sure I don’t ever feel like this again? And, if I do feel like this again (because, well, life), how can I make sure I will be better prepared to deal with it in a healthy way?
Here’s a great tip that helped me: Even when you think you have found the answer, take a little extra time to observe some more, jot down a couple more mental notes to apply in the future, and always, always continue looking for more answers. But don’t try to figure everything out just for the sake of knowing it, because what is the point of having knowledge without applying it in real life? Being knowledgable for egotistical purposes — or just so that other people know you are — isn’t useful to anyone, not even yourself. I would dare say that learning how is far more valuable than ever learning what.
We turn to our friends for support, for guidance, for wisdom, and advice. Our friends do the same with us and we love helping the people that we love. Ironically, humans are always the worst at taking our own advice. I wonder if it’s because we rarely acknowledge our own inner wisdom, so we’d rather seek it from friends or family; which is great! It’s amazing to ask for help when you need it, always keep doing that. I’m only suggesting that you add yourself to the list of people you turn to during difficult times. Much of the knowledge and wisdom we seek from outside sources is already within us. So, even before Googling, turn inwards and ask — what do I know right now? What did I know before? What do I want change? And most importantly — how can I make things better?
My favourite thing was when I started to notice how much growing I had done and how much I learned, I was actually starting to feel like I successfully solved an insoluble problem with my friend. I felt like I got through it alongside myself. You will always have yourself when you are in need. No matter what happens in this life — you will always be here for you! And that is an unchanging truth.
In all honesty, corny affirmations aside, I know how hard it is to apply this ~hippie dippy~ stuff in real life situations. So, just become your best friend. Be the person you are the most excited to spend time with. Do nice things for yourself, just because you deserve to feel good and loved. Tend to yourself and your mind. And when you slip up, or make a mistake or feel like you are starting to take steps backwards instead of forward — please, do not beat yourself up over it. If you find yourself revisiting old habits, don’t become angry at yourself. Do not feel that all your work has been for nothing — because even the smallest signs of change is still progress. Imagine a baby that is learning to walk for the first time. They may take three or four steps on the first try, but fall on their butt when they try again. Would you get angry at the baby? Would you yell at them for not being able to walk for a second time? Of course not. You would be praising them with words of encouragement, maybe even a little laughter. You would help them back up and wipe their tears if necessary, so they can try again. You want to see the baby learn how to walk and you know that with guidance and support they will eventually get it right. And ultimately, it doesn’t matter how long it takes them to learn how to walk; it really doesn’t matter if they get it on the first try or on the ten hundredth try — all that matters is that they learn. So, when you do mess up, just laugh with yourself and try again.