Who Shoud Be Your Best Friend?

Dear reader,

I hope you have a person in your life, your significant other whom you call a friend, perhaps even a best friend. You might even have more than one and that’s fantastic, though also one isn’t too bad.

We are social beings, that goes also for those exceptions who like spending time being alone. Alone doesn’t equal lonely; i.e. with other words, we need others to feel accepted, secure, belonging, to care for them and to be cared for. But there is one catch: human beings are not very reliable and trustworthy, we can never be certain what’s going on in other person’s head and there is no such thing as “forever and ever”, “I promise and I won’t break my promise” or “I will never hurt you”.

Others don’t always behave perfectly. And nor do we. In the end many people die alone. More than half of the marriages end up in a divorce. Best friends forever become worst enemies. Siblings hate each other. And so forth. Yet still we don’t give up and we do look for connection with and to others. Other’s opinion matters. We define ourselves according to social norms, patterns, beliefs and attitudes. We all do it, even though some would not admit and would claim they are unique and don’t care about what others think (I suppose only those who don’t even bother to say anything about this matter really don’t think about it :)).

I’m noticing my inner dialogue and the words I use to talk to myself are sometimes so rude that I wouldn’t even say it out loud to the most toxic person who would actually deserve it. I’m my worst assessor, criticising every single aspect, even the ones that are actually quite fine. With others I can tolerate a lot and can accept mistakes. With me no ways. I accept failure and small steps and even encourage it, but when it comes to me, my demands and standards are literally unreachable. I reward and compliment others constantly, myself rarely. To make it short: I’m my own worst enemy.

Giving I’m an intelligent person, there must be some rationale behind it. And there is: by being your own worst judge, this guarantees you that nobody will criticise you more than you would. Nobody can hurt you more than you can. And that gives you a sense of security and control. Not insane at all.

With just one small missing gap: your inner voice becomes the words you use. Your words then become your thoughts. Your thoughts your actions. And your actions your behaviour. Long term criticism and focusing on what’s missing and what’s not good enough will make these aspects bigger, until there is nothing left but these gaps. You talk yourself into the problems, that can become your narrative and your life story. What a pity to miss all the beautiful aspects and working ones!

So I’m learning to change my inner voice. I still do agree that I should not obey the Pareto principle and not give just 80% if I am capable of giving 100%. But I don’t have to demonstrate more than others. I don’t have to impress. I don’t have to make others like me. I have to make myself like me.

Your relationship with yourself is the only relationship that will last for a lifetime. You will always be there for you, whether you like it or not. Make sure your company is welcoming and supportive. The world is cruel. And beautiful. And the only one that will completely understand what’s going on with you, is you. You are the only expert of your life. So why not being your best friend, your confidant, your nest to rest? Why not trusting your intuition? Why not letting yourself take the leading role of your life? Others surely have lots of plans for you. But it’s your life. And it’s ending one minute at the time, they say.

Sure you have and make mistakes. Who doesn’t? As long as you are alive, you’ll make mistakes. And others will too. And they are your mistakes, your chances to learn. Learning is good. Embrace it. If it’s hard, it means it’s worth it. And it also means you can do it. Your inner self is offering you a hand. Take it and hug yourself. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be yourself. Including every aspect of yours that you are not proud of, including that lazy, fat, broken, damaged, grumpy thing you might have. You won’t make it go away by hating it. Try accepting it as an integral part of you. Your most honest and truthful friend is standing right next to you. It’s always been there for you, yet you didn’t see him or her. 

Your best friend in life is you. And it’s about time you get acquainted with them :). I must say it feels strange, but I’m kinda liking it. And surprise – others like it too!

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Picture borrowed from the web. Relax. Nobody’s perfect. Also you don’t have to be – you are already good enough.

Downsize This: a Failure and a Temptation to Complicate (Notes About a Simple Life, Part 3)

Dear reader,

In the last post promised you the next post in simplifying our lives will be about the garden. Well, to be honest, life happened in between and since nobody is perfect, I failed following the Simple Life agenda for a day or three or a week.

Last week I was super busy preparing for the second part of the very first Slovenian Solution Focused Professional Training (link to the event in SLO language). Following the Simple Life Notes, I thought I would get the most ideas engaging in meaningful activities like gardening, walking in the nature or reading, but instead I was sitting in front of my laptop and about half of that time was mere nonsense. Though I do realize this is as well a part of creative process, I wasn’t particularly proud of myself. What was worse, I began to browse some stupid webpages with clothes and outfits and even ordered some things, though a new pair of jeans is the last thing I need.

I felt pretty bad. Though the training was awesome and I really enjoyed it (the participants as well, so they say), I knew deep down I’m not following the Simple Life Notes anymore and that bothered me.

Luckily yesterday we had some very nice friends coming over and I was happy for a while. But today again, not many productive or meaningful activities from my side. Again I noticed myself browsing and looking at some skirts I don’t need and blouses I won’t wear. So wtf? I decided to take a nap.

But couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t tired physically. My mental capacities were tired, because the training programme was hard intellectual work and also a huge responsibility, because I really wanted to make the most use of our training for our participants. Since this is the first training in Slovenia, I couldn’t draw upon existing experience, because there weren’t any. So naturally I was tired and empty afterwards.

What now? Should I continue blaming myself for breaking the Notes I wrote? Should I just drop the whole experiment and return back to the old habits? Should I not tell you about it and come back to you with some other posts about how fabulous our training was?

I listened to my inner dialogue for a moment. It was a nasty and rough monologue and my head was nearly exploding. So I got up. approached my piano and sat down. I heard a melody in my head, which cleared my mind and let my thoughts go away one by one slowly and gently. Started playing. It felt good, though I made several mistakes. Played some more. Pieces like Beethoven and Chopin. And then the sun came out from cloudy sky. And I smiled, because it was all good. I didn’t fail at anything. I’m not competing with anyone. I’m not trying to prove anything. Or accomplish anything. I just want to explore and play with simplicity. It’s work in progress. When you are ready, life gives you a lesson. When you are not ready, you won’t recognize it. The best lessons aren’t meant to be pleasant. And learning happens in many ways. Guess I was ready for my lesson.

My piano is a great way for me to clear my head and let me be in contact with my senses through balancing heart and mind. It has been like that since I was 4 years old and wanted to have a piano. Now I have one, a baby grand. And it helps me discover that I do deserve to talk to me in a gentle and supportive way, even though I “failed” my agenda for a couple of days. My failure was only contemporary, compared to the rest of the time when I was doing great. So why would I want to treat myself poorly for learning?

No need to complicate things. Even when you fail. A temptation is big, yes it is. And yet, it’s your choice, that only you can make.

Wish you gentle monologues, even during times when you are not proud of yourself. You are learning. That’s actually something to congratulate yourself!

Biba

My baby grand

My friend who never judges. Even when I make mistakes.