“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.”Lucius Annaeus Seneca
They say a dog is a humans best friend. Being an owner of a dog, I completely agree. It’s hard to get a more loyal and happy companion than a your little furry friend 🐶.
However, I find it a little sad though. Because you would think, of all the people who would we our best friend, it would be ourselves. Shouldn’t we be our own best friend. Who is in better alignment with our dreams, thoughts, feelings, and emotions than ourselves? Shouldn’t we have the most sympathy and loyalty to ourselves?
And yet, we are usually our own worst critic. We don’t believe in our abilities. We think we can change, but never actually do. We hate who we are. We wear ourselves out with negativity, worry, regret, indecision and fear. And we even tend to go behind our own back without knowing!
How can we resolve this?
How do we become our own best friend?
First, we must learn who we are. It’s difficult to like someone who you don’t know anything about.
To do that, we have to be alone with ourselves.
Nature helps. Go be on the water or out in the woods. Rent a kayak, go for a hike or take a walk in the park. Motion helps too. A silent car ride on your way to work, or a road trip to the next town over. A morning bike ride or run. Do what you have to do to get yourself alone without technology or others.
Breathe. Be weird for a moment. Ask yourself questions. Listen for answers. Care about who you are. How would a friend treat you? What would a dog do? (W.W.D.D.?)
Second, we must learn to keep our past in the past. The past can cut us up daily. Maybe you’re not proud of a decision or moment in your past. Maybe a regret haunts you to this day. And, most of all, maybe you’re mad or resentful or envious about decisions someone else made to you or for you. How often do you let the past – something out of our control – rule over your day? One bad egg shouldn’t ruin the bunch. A head in the past has no bite in the present and no ambition for the future. Let. It. Go. Light a prayer lantern. Do a seance. Dance naked under the moon (please don’t do this). But serious, seek advice, seek council, find help. Let go of who you were, so you can be who are are.
Seek out ways to let go of your ghosts. They’ve gotten you this far, but you don’t need them any longer.
List out all the benefits you can think of for a difficult moment in your past has helped you. List all the downsides of it not happening.
Third, we also must learn who we want to be, and let go of any shortcomings or flaws we have and struggle with on our way towards our ideal self.
The goal is to be okay with who we are and what we’ve got to work with, while at the same time continuously pursuing a better version of our selfs.
I know, It’s a weird balance. There’s a lot of pitfalls that can get us stuck. The key is understanding that the ideal self is the goal, but never the end goal. The point isn’t to make our best self the end all be all. The point is to try with all of our might. The value is in the act of pursuit, not reaching a moment. The top of the mountain is fleeting. The top of the second mountain isn’t any more satisfying. The joy comes from the climb up. The pursuit of meaning is what matters.
If we can master these three things, AND have a dog — we’ll practically be unstoppable*.
(* until we die anyway)
STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #707