“If I were my own best friend” is nine years old today. The first post was written and published on May 31, 2011. Happy Birthday little blog!
The site continues to be a space where I explore the idea of being my own best friend. The idea first resonated with me when I reflected on conversations with close friends and the advice or feedback we gave each other. I often found the advice or feedback or support I gave to my friends was very different from what I gave to myself. As I started paying closer attention I was shocked by the pattern.
What I was sending out into the world was often kinder, quieter, more thoughtful, more supportive, more optimistic. What I was sending internally was generally harsh, judgmental, negative, more limiting. Oh boy. So, what if I treated myself or talked to myself the same way I talked to my friends?
What if I actually gave myself advice or support the same way I did for my closest friends? What if I became my own best friend?
What if I was supportive and honest and constructive with myself (not critical and harsh)? What if I was kind and gentle and nurtured myself (not cut myself down for small imperfections)? What if I bought myself chocolate and flowers when I needed them (not just for my friends)? What if I cheered myself on for running 1 mile (not focused on how I should have run 2 miles)? What if I took a good hard look at my career or relationships or life and really thought critically about how it fit or did not with who I wanted to become (not keep going through the motions)?
I was doing all these things and having all these conversations with my friends…. Why not myself?
So for nine years I have been exploring this idea of being kind and honest and gentle and funny and caring with myself, as I would for a best friend. For those of you who are already really good at this, Bravo! For me, this has been an ongoing journey of growth and restarts and reframes. The truth is I will be working on this my whole life, this idea of being kind to myself or being my own best friend. It does not come easy.
So, if I were my own best friend I would celebrate nine years and how far this space has come. I would remind myself to get back up when I fall. To choose again when I cut myself down. To be kind. To be gentle. To be there for myself. Don’t quit. Keep going. Keep writing. Keep drawing. Keep growing. Keep trying to do better. Because when we do better for ourselves we are able to do better for everyone around us as well. And for those of you who have come on this journey with me, I would challenge you to do the same. Be your own best friend.
A link to the very first post on this blog –
A few more words to share… I struggled with whether or not to post this today. The world feels very heavy and very uncertain. There are so many big, deep, divided, unknown, paradigm-shifting things happening right now. So much death and destruction and pain. So many dark and long-ignored things being brought into the light. Celebrating a blog-birthday felt like it might negate, make-little-of, or ignore those things that are affecting so many lives. My heart hurts for so many reasons right now. Yet in these times of uncertainty and unrest when so many of us feel so much adrift, is that not the very time we should all be checking in with ourselves and taking care of ourselves? So that we may be the best versions of ourselves? Is this dark and unknown time also the time when we should be our own best friend? Take care of ourselves so that we may step out and step up and do the work that needs to be done to make this world a better, lighter, safer, more equitable place for all of us to live and thrive and lean on each other.
I totally enjoy your post and often find peace and inspiration from them. You are an eloquent writer. Never stop, because so many of us share the same struggles you do and you but it into such enlightened words. In this chaotic time, you are peace and kindness and we need that.
Correction ……”You put it into such enlightened words”
Hello! I love that you are here and still reading this. Thank you seems inadequate but will have to do. Thank you from my heart to yours.
Rachel, this is beautiful and so insightful. Thank you so much for sharing. During this very crazy time in the world, we need to place such an emphasis on kindness and consideration. I am very proud of the very accomplished lady you have become. We love you and think of you and Will and the kids often. We are so glad we were able to get together last summer. Love, Rookie and Jordan
I think your message today is needed more now than ever!