Learning to be my own best friend

Being my own best friend is more complicated than it sounds, since it is an inside job.  The faces of main players in my life continue to shift.  There are some brand new faces; there is a return of an old face with a surprising new purpose, some steadfast faces prove to be even more important, and sadly some faces leave.

New loving faces show up in work, at yoga training, and while I am busy being my quirky self in public places.  They breathe new life into my world.  As they remind me of the purpose and power in sharing our stories. For that is when we can truly be present and have the opportunity to learn from one another.

The returning face is most surprising.  Actually, I wondered if hell froze over when I heard from this old love.  He shows up now as an understanding friend without all the mess of a relationship.  Our lives have a great deal of overlap and common ground.  It is reassuring to been seen exactly where I am right now in the eyes of someone who knows me from long ago.  We have buried many hatchets, and stopped beating dead horses finally.

The faces of my brothers and the sisters-in-love, shine so brightly now.  We all have come together in new ways to support and simply be a listening ear for each other as we navigate our aging parents.  My heart warms whenever I think of them. Meanwhile I radiate gratitude in their direction constantly.  The faces of my mother and father also shine brightly in their love for me along my journey.  I see something different in them; they wish they could speed up my healing more than I do.

Over the past year faces have left my inner circle as well.  I intellectually understand that people share their lesson and then leave our lives.  Yet my heart is heavy and sad every time someone I love leaves.  Suffering is optional, but some days my tears flow when I think of them.  I miss them and the gifts they brought into my life.  Although I get to keep the gifts, I no longer see their faces.   I miss having their hands to hold in yoga class, the talks of future, sharing music, laughing until I cry, having a hiking partner and the other good stuff.  That is the dirty trick of nostalgia; the belief that things were better than they really were.  They are no longer in my life due to a variety of circumstances and choices, which means it is better to miss them than have them in my daily life.  With that being said, there is not a day that goes by where I don’t long for some aspect of the life I thought I had with them.

Navigating these changes, the pleasant and not so pleasant ones, is challenging for me.  I am a doer by nature.  Much of this phase in healing requires me to be still and to stop doing many things.  Actually, I am presented with a current shift with someone I dearly love where I am to do nothing.  Ummm, I am not so great with that.   Time helps to heal, because it give some distance to the rawness, but information came to me that feels like a punch to the throat, heart, and gut simultaneously.  I must let myself go from the stranglehold of attachment to an idea of how life should be.  People make decisions and sometimes it is with mixed intent; to be good to one person while devastating another.  I saw a Wayne Dyer quote that spoke to me the other day.  “Love, is my gift to the world.  I fill myself with love and I send it out into the world. How others treat me is their path; how I react is mine.”

I focus on continuing to send love while paying attention to my reaction to how others treat me.  Surrounding myself with loving people is part of the healing process. Navigating all the emotions is where I need to be my very own best friend.  It is important to have grace, compassion, understanding, kindness and patience with myself as I do with others when they are hurting.  All of the beloved faces in my life can only provide so much along this healing journey of mine.  The rest of it is up to me on this inside job.

Acting as my very best friend I recognize that sweating tends to shed the funk I sometimes find myself in.  Running, hot yoga and hiking are at the top of my “To do list” every day.  Meditation and writing are always a close behind, since they help to soothe my soul as I process the newest lessons of life.  My best friend says I am way overdue for a night of dancing!  Is anyone up for a night on the town with me and my “best friend” self?


Kristin Springfield