Be A Friend To Yourself

Guest post by Sana Quijada

As survivors of life-threatening event(s), we know the struggles we are left with.  We know we continue to hurt even when the trauma is over.  We know that sometimes we don’t like ourselves.  Sometimes, and we struggle with shame and other inappropriate self-effacing emotions.  Guilt, like the cuckoo bird, lays it’s parasitic eggs in our nest to nurture in stead of what gives life to our ability to feel pleasure.

However, here is what too many of us don’t know as well; everything starts and ends with Me.  This doesn’t imply fault, but rather accountability.  The beauty of being in that belief allows us to be a friend to “yourself.”  We see that at any point in time, in space and in grief, we can start over.  It means that although we are victimized, we have freedom to choose if we will be the victim.  We choose if we won’t be the victim.  Being the victim is our decision and we have power.  We have freedom to grow distance from what is fair or not fair and grow closer to Me, remembering what is Truth.  I am a friend to Me?  Truth – yes.

(Using this terminology of “Me” encourages us to see ourselves as a vital being worth the work it takes to achieve health. Capitalizing and speaking of the “Me,” gives us a tool to view ourselves more objectively as well as remind us of our connection with each other.  In so many words, Me is not so different and far from me.)

In that space of awareness, we, in our changed and changing selves find constancy in what cannot be ravaged or extinguished.  The constancy being that in beginning and ending with Me, that in Truth, we want what any friend would want.  We want to be good to our friend.  We want to be kind and fiercely loving.  We would choose life.

In the trajectory from beginning with me and ending with me, so much can happen.  In that space, if we get lost, confused by seduction of overeating, of self-injury, or self-sabotage and loathing, if at any point in that trajectory between Me and Me, we can simply go back to our beginning.  Me.  And there we find our friend again.  If Me becomes obscured by our journey, reducing things to where it all starts and ends is incredibly friendly.

When we are our own friend, we see that popular moral beliefs in no way erase my self.  That in service to others, we remain accountable to our motives.

I am serving because I choose to and because it is good for Me.”

I love God because He loved Me first.”

Truth.

“I am lovable because I am human, not because of what I do well or poorly.”

We are valuable to Me and the universe and we can sing with Canadian singer-songwriter “Hallelujah” in the place we find Me; in any gutter or throne.  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  That is unchanging.  That is Truth.

“And even though it all went wrong

I’ll stand before the Lord of Song

With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah”

-Leonard Cohen

Everything starts and ends with Me.  Be a friend to Yourself.

Questions:  What has put your friendship with yourself into practice?  How has that improved your health?  Please tell us your story.

Sana Johnson-Quijada, M.D. writes on being a friend to yourself. She practices psychiatry and parents, with her husband, their three small children. Her blog, FriendtoYourself.com, reflects years of study, along with life and patient experience.

 
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