Hmm, sounds kind of silly, doesn’t it?
But I’ve realized that it’s sillier NOT to already be your best friend. Somehow I’ve managed to be on this earth for 24 years before finally discovering this super awesome BFF who’s been here the whole time! That is wild to me. What in the world is holding me back from befriending the coolest person ever?
Yes, I’ve got truly amazing humans who call me their friends, and I’m so grateful. The capacity to carry a friendship despite complete personality differences and opposite interests and motivations is really fascinating to me. We look at our friends, non-judgmentally, with the utmost respect and compassion, and it’s these qualities, I feel, that are important for cultivating and keeping a relationship. If our friend is down in the dumps, we feel obligated to remind them of their greatness, how courageous they are in the face of challenges. We love our best friends unconditionally, and we can see the strength they already possess to get through whatever they are facing. We are their biggest support system, constantly cheering them on. What’s really neat about it all is reciprocity: your best friend is right there doing the same for you.
So my question becomes, why can’t we be this for ourselves? Why is it not normal to reconstruct the relationship within so that we treat ourselves with the same respect and kindness that our friends do?
(these are the questions that keep me up at night)
I haven’t been able to find answers to my questions (typical) but it’s something to think about. Instead of a positive, healthy dynamic, we’re conditioned to be our biggest critic. To constantly judge and judge our performance and feelings. And then judge some more.
Why did you say that? Why on earth would you ever say that? It sounded so stupid, I can only imagine what they are thinking. How stupid am I? Jesus, what are you wearing? You forgot this thing at home, how could you be so stupid? Now your day is ruined and you screwed it all up. What were you thinking? No one else would make a stupid mistake like that, what are you doing?
These are only some of the judgments I have heard, coming out of MY brain. What? In what universe is this healthy? Who told you it was okay to talk down to yourself like this? Over time, I’ve begun to question the voice in my head. I like to think of the cassette player metaphor when I think about our inner voice. But at this point, I’m like who in the hell played this cassette in the first place??? Finally, I was tired of listening to myself be so disrespectful, so condescending to my own beautiful soul. I realized none of the things the cassette was saying were true, so why would I continue to play it? Why don’t I play this really fancy tape that is full of love, compassion, and so many silly inside jokes?
Remove the negative tape from the player right now. It is so imperative.
I’m so serious. Life-changing imperative. Now, you’re probably thinking, oh yeah, Madeleine, how easy is it for you to say that when my tape is stuck on repeat! Well, yes, it’s easy because I’ve changed my cassette, but the negative one is tricking you into thinking it’s some huge ordeal. It’s as easy as pressing the eject button, removing the tape, putting the next one in, and pressing play. So simple. But for some reason, it’s impossible to us.
You have to want to change the cassette. It’s not going to change itself.
Sometimes I feel like that listening to records. I’m so lazy and I don’t wanna go flip it to the other side, even if it’s three feet from me. BUT, I know if I wanna hear the rest of the album, I’ve gotta get up, otherwise I hear that tiny little whisper the record makes when it’s spinning in silence. So I muster up the strength to get up and flip it and set the needle up to jam to the next side. And voila!
It’s a pretty good metaphor if you ask me, because it’s soooo applicable to life. We totally have the strength to change it, we just don’t want to in that moment. But we realize to get to the good stuff, we gotta forgo being lazy and just do it! Same thing with our inner self. That tape is just playing nonsense at this point, it’s time to get up and flip it over. Change the tape. Play the brand new record. SO many beautiful things on the flip side!
When we cultivate this environment for ourselves, we can become our own best friend, looking out for our best interest at all times. We can maximize our potential and grow for days! With our biggest critic transforming into our best friend, there are literally no limits. Our lives become a place of unconditional love, compassion, and encouragement that will help set us up for success in the years to come. Life is short, so it’s important to have as many allies as we can to make it the most badass lifetime possible.