Updated: Sep 23
Here are some things a lot of us are really good at:
telling ourselves we not good enough
scaring the crap out of ourselves
focusing on how everything is going to hell
obsessing about how everyone else has it better
Stuff like that.
But, hey, you know what we’re not good at? Or rather, you know what we just don’t do much?
Being our own best friend.
And what I mean be that is being the wise, kind, caring, helpful, supportive person in our lives. The person who puts his or her arm over our shoulder and says just the smart, encouraging, helpful thing we need to hear to drag our car of misery and inertia out of the muddy ditch and get it back on the road.
When you’re your own best friend you don’t buy yourself treats or let yourself stay up late. That’s what your own best sugar daddy does for you. And he may not have your best interests at heart. We don’t need an inner sugar daddy.
But most of us desperately need an inner best friend. Do you have that? Can you pull that off?
Let me tell you a story.
I worked a while back with a woman who’d really been shit on by life. In a number of ways. Against the odds—she was disfigured, too—she’d found a boyfriend, a good guy. Thank goodness for that. But it was clear that she had absolutely no inner supports she could turn to.
So we did hypnotherapy. When she was in a deep trance, I said a being was going to appear to her who would be the wise, kind, supportive, loving best friend I talked to you about. She was quiet for a while. I asked her if someone or something had appeared. She said yes, a black dog. (Her family bred dogs as a hobby.)
I said, “The black dog will speak and tell you the things you’re needing to hear now.”
Again, silence. I asked her what the dog had said.
Wow! That wonderful imaginary inner black dog—her new best friend—had the most lovely things to say to her. Just what she needed to hear in the midst of her current difficulties. Nothing brilliant. But everything just right. And nothing toxic.
Stuff she’d always had inside her all this time!!
Several weeks later she came in with devastating news. Her boyfriend had broken up with her. This is always heartbreaking. But in her case, it was possible that she never would find another boyfriend. This was real devastation.
I’d taught her how to access the black dog whenever she was feeling stuck. But now in the face of this loss it was hard. So I put her in a trance again and told her the dog would appear.
I asked her if the dog was there. She said he was.
I asked her what the dog said to her. Nothing, she said.
Why? I asked. He can’t talk, she said; his head has been torn off.
This scared me. Had I just witnessed the psychic death of this woman?
But I trusted... So I said, “Okay, so you’ll pick him up and put his head back on him, just the way you put the heads back on one of your Barbies when you were a little girl. And he’ll come back to life, and he’ll tell you just the things you need to hear.”
And I waited.
For a long time.
Finally I asked, “Did you do it? And what did the dog say to you?”
After a moment, she said, “I picked him up, put his head back on him, and he came back to life. Then he told me I had everything I needed to have a good life. Good friends, loving grandparents, meaningful work. I would have everything I needed, no matter what.
That’s the kind of inner best friend I’m talking about. We all have it. We all always have had it. We just have to access it. Ask it to come alive and speak to us. We just have to listen to it.
All the words and thoughts and help and caring and wisdom and love you need is already there inside you. You just have to ask it to speak.
Just look at this weightlifter. On the edge of the possibility of winning a world championship, she can look, and maybe feel, on the edge of collapse. But her inner best friend is telling her she can do it. And so she presses on...