and modeling that for my children is really important to me. I find this concept to be really crucial in my adult development. I didn’t really understand this until I was entering middle-age. As an introvert, I’ve always loved my time alone. However, the concept of really being my own best friend took years to fully integrate. Thankfully, Lisa and I finally have this all pretty well figured out now…even though she can be a total pain in the ass sometimes. I love her in spite of her flaws.
My Positive Psychology teacher Tal Ben-Shahar frequently reiterates that we have to give ourselves “permission to be human”. This doesn’t mean that we have to accept every one of our behaviors as—”oh well, that’s me” and not even try to self correct. It does mean however, that when we screw up, we can take notice, mend the damage, alter our behavior, move on and try to do it a little bit differently next time.
As our own BFF we have to encourage ourselves just as we would encourage a friend who is going through some of life’s trials.
I would love to cut short some of these challenging years for my three children. The hard years when we often aren’t so kind to ourselves…teens and early twenties. I guess some lessons are like learning to walk before we crawl though. We simply can’t shortchange the steps.
Some of our growth requires more years of life’s joys and sorrows coupled with the experience and wisdom that follows. Regardless, I believe we can start talking to our children at a very young age about being their own best friend, enjoying their own company and knocking back negative self talk.