Be Your Own Damn Friend
I created this practice because I need it.
Like many of you, I am prone to depression, anxiety–something I think is congenital, I get it from my Mama, and my son got it from me. It’s a darkness, a weird shadow that stalks your life, and can sure as shit ruin your day. Or your week. Hell, I’ve had it ruin whole years.
Ya feel me?
Some people have to work harder at certain things. For me, I have to work hard at maintaining peace in my heart.
So, if I’ve got to make this a discipline, I’ve discovered, the only way to maintain that discipline is to ensure it is pleasurable and reasonable. Like you, I’m busy. Like you, I don’t need another chore on my plate.
So I’ve added certain routines into my life that don’t feel like a chore, yet nonetheless do the heavy lifting of keeping my wild ass in a good mental space.
Here’s what I’ve discovered helps me. You might want to give some version of this routine a shot.
Each day, I make time to:
- Get outside
- Move my body
- Engage in creativity I enjoy
For me, personally, this routine looks like this:
I wake up early and walk my son to the bus stop. Then I take my own walk on the nature trail in my neighborhood. On this walk, I meet my friend, a woman twice my age who has become one of the dearest people in my life. We often spend thirty minutes or more just chatting. Previously, this “waste of time” would have stressed me out. Now, I consider our time together a precious gift from the universe which I gladly make time for. After my walk, I stretch my legs a bit and meditate. This takes fifteen minutes. Then I eat a good breakfast and start my workday. Around lunchtime, I give myself a break to be creative. For me, right now, this means playing the piano and singing, a hobby that brings me great joy and zero expectations.
Just as you feed your body with nutritious foods so that you can be healthy, these activities are the nutritious foods I feed my soul.
Does it always “cure” me of anxiety, sadness, other negative emotions?
No. I don’t run from these feelings, anyway. You’re not meant to always be happy. Human life contains a myriad of emotions.
However, I am able to maintain a peace. Peace does not always equal OMG LIFE IS GREAT! Peace means that I do not panic about my emotions. I do not obsess over imaginary possibilities. Peace means I am able to experience this moment and not run from it.
You deserve peace, too.
And listen–you can generate it.
Yes, you, with this tragic backstory.
Yes, you, who works all the time. Yes, you, suffering a terrible loss. Yes, you, who’s feeling…fine?…or….or…..
You can generate peace via a loving discipline of friendship to your own damn self.
I’d love to help you. Here is a gift to get you started.