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New World Library Unshelved

New World Library Unshelved

Positive news and inspiring views from the New World Library community

Friday, December 07, 2012
Are You Being a Good Friend . . . to Yourself? by guest blogger Christine Arylo

3 Simple but Mighty Self-Love Practices for Being Your Own Best Friend

Be kind to others. Show up and be supportive. Be there unconditionally and without judgment when your friends are having a hard time. Tell your friends the truth, even when it’s hard. Remember to celebrate you friends. Cheerlead for them. Inspire them to go for their dreams. Respect you friends, honor them, appreciate them, be compassionate — in other words, love them.

These are the rules of being a good friend. And while you may not be perfect at always showing up as a good friend for others, you know how to love others well. And when you do show up as a good friend, you feel good about yourself. Proud. Like you are doing a good thing, being a good person. Because you inherently know that giving love to others is a good thing.

But when you take that love and friendship and apply it to yourself, something different happens. Suddenly you feel guilty for taking care of yourself, selfish for choosing yourself first, and shy about tooting your own horn. Giving love to yourself in the forms you need it most — compassion, appreciation, nurturing, pleasure, etc. — feels wrong, weird, and uncomfortable. In situations where you’d have no problem telling a friend to take a break, stop working, leave a relationship, or go for her dreams, you find yourself totally unable to give yourself permission to do what you really need. Until now.

Today, I invite you to take a stand for the most important relationship in your life — the one with yourself — by saying YES! to becoming a really good friend, maybe even a best friend, to yourself and by giving yourself the love you need, no matter what. There’s nothing selfish about that. For the better friend you are to yourself, the more you fill yourself up with love, the more you will be able to give to others. You will be both a giver and a receiver of love!

3 Simple but Mighty Self-Love Practices for Being Your Own Best Friend

One of the biggest reasons we fail to be good friends to ourselves is because we don’t know how to give ourselves permission to take the actions we know would be best for us. Ask yourself these simple questions on a regular basis and whenever you feel overwhelmed, lonely, or out of sorts. Be honest. And if the answer to the question is no, take the Daring Act of Love listed to get yourself the love you need in the form you need it in.

**Am I happy?
If the answer is no, you are likely starving for joy. You need self-pleasure. Take this Daring Act of Love: Make a JOY Portrait, by filling up one piece of paper with all the things that make you happy — big and small. Then choose three and turn them into “acts of joy” — actions you can take to create joy for yourself. Enjoy them within 24 hours, no matter what you have going on.

**Am I taking care of myself as well as everything and everyone else?
If the answer is no, your energy tank is likely depleted. You need self-care. Take this Daring Act of Love: Give yourself what you need, pronto. Close your eyes, put your hand on your heart, take a deep breath, and say to yourself, “What do I need right now to take care of me?” Then be quiet and see what your Inner Wisdom says. Whatever guidance you receive, do those things, no matter what.

**Am I willing to disappoint another to not disappoint myself?
If the answer is no, you are putting others’ needs in front of your own, to the detriment of yourself. You need self-honor. Take this Daring Act of Love: Love-line a friend and ask them to give you permission to do what’s best for you. If you are really stubborn, ask them to tell you why it’s okay to give yourself permission to disappoint another not to disappoint yourself, and then repeat back what they say. Often when we can’t be a good friend to ourselves, we need to elicit the help of others who can be good friends to us. This is how we learn to be better friends to ourselves.

Imagine what your life would be like if, from this day forward, in the moments when your inner critic wants to tear you down, in the times when you get scared to go for your dreams, or in the instances when you feel exhausted and need a rest, you are able to wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself permission to do exactly what you need — without guilt, fear, or judgment. This is possible when you make the choice to love yourself unconditionally and as a result choose to show up as a best friend, no matter what. A daring adventure indeed, but the only way really to live — in love, with yourself.

Christine Arylo is the author of Madly in Love with ME and Choosing ME before WE. She is an internationally recognized speaker and transformational teacher for women and girls, and the founder of the International Day of Self-Love (February 13).


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