When you think about your best friend, who comes to mind? The people I have considered my best friends in my life have shifted depending on this and that. I have moved a lot in my life and sometimes distance has changed the depth of friendship. Not always though. I haven’t seen my best friend, Melinda Zito O’Brien in over 2 years and yet, we talk almost daily and are even closer than we were living near each other in UT. Melinda and I have done a lot of things together over the years including several business opportunities, events supporting each other back and forth for different reasons.
Then there is my best friend Kimberly Errigo. We have a theory that we both moved to Santa Cruz CA so we could meet and become friends. Kimberly is also my life and business coach, whose work with me, has changed my life in ways I cannot even begin to list. Perhaps a view of my life today is an indication. I am in what feels like the relationship of a lifetime, with a wonderful man for me and I am getting to know people in my new town of Eugene OR and will likely be starting an excellent position on December 17th. I feel mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthier and am better able to handle the bumps in life because Kimberly works with me, I trust her and I am doing the things she teaches me to do.
Kimberly and Melinda are extraordinary women and I feel very blessed to have them in my life today. It is an honor to be in their lives, too. A best friend can mean so many things. A best friend is someone who loves you anyway, when you are ridiculous, overwhelmed or making the same damn mistake again! A best friend will call you on your bull shit. A best friend will treat you the way you need to be treated, with kid gloves, pots of love and good chi or a two by four in some cases. Everyone should have such a great friend to have their back. Everyone. No exceptions. Today I realized I have another best friend I have never even thought about and yet this best friend really has been there for me on and off and more and more lately. This best friend is me.
I have become my own best friend. I could recognize that when I am down I am the one who pulls my Al Anon tools out to course correct. I am the one reciting the Serenity Prayer. I am the one telling myself to pause, take a deep breathe, drink a full glass of water, smile, breathe again, call a friend, take a walk, tend my flowers, write a gratitude list. I’m the one writing the things that scare me, cause me stress and block me, on pieces of paper and putting them in my Healing Jar, to burn later. I’m the one using Deeksha and theta and intuitive gifts to help myself. I’m the one getting in a hot tub taking a sea salt bath, putting reminders on my calendar to self care.
I’m the one telling out-of-control parts of myself to sit down in the back of my bus and behave, because my spiritual self is the only safe driver of my bus. It’s a funny analogy but it works. I learned it from Kimberly. I’m mindful because of Melinda. But it is me, being my best friend that does the actual work of taking care of me in my life and I believe that is how it should be. We can be our own best friends, love ourselves, take care of ourselves, protect ourselves, and do all those important things best friends, do. Think who knows you better than anyone. Who could love you the most, knowing what you have been through, how you have grown to become the person you are, so far? Who knows what you like better than you do? Who is better at doing nice things for yourself than you? When you look at things that way… who is a better best friend for you, than you?
Like Elizabeth Gilbert wrote in Eat Pray Love, of recognition of self as a friend, “Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And the admonition, “Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.” (pages 54-55) When you look in the mirror ignore the wrinkles and warts as you do with your best friends and see the loving, caring adorable you!
In those unguarded moments, when the world caves in, there is someone there listening and sending love and it is you. In my case, it is me. I am the one who can step up and really be my own best friend. And when I am good at that, I can be a great friend to someone else, too. And another person. And that guy. And your mother. And my kids and you get the point… and that point is, you are your own best friend and can honor yourself more, starting right now… <3<3<3