BFF - that’s the text messaging acronym for "best friends forever." Today is the day to have a conversation with yourself and ask, "Will you be my BFF?" Best friends are there to love you, encourage you, forgive you and be your cheerleader - no matter what. That is what you deserve to receive from yourself - unconditional love of self, forever. Self-love is the foundation of inner peace, and inner peace is the pre-requisite to world peace. We must learn to love ourselves unconditionally before we can create true peace in our outer world.
At last Saturday’s Forgiveness Workshop at Pathways Church, we wrote forgiveness letters to ourselves. I instructed the participants to write letters that acknowledged their feelings and unmet needs in their forgiveness opportunity, and to forgive themselves for their part in the story. As facilitator, I gathered up the letters to mail and blessed each envelope - and its recipient - before sending it down the mail chute at the post office. I’ve mailed notes to myself in the past, and I remember how sweet it was to receive it. I suppose an e-card to yourself would do in a pinch! That’s one way to be your own BFF - write yourself an appreciative or forgiving letter.
Another is to record your successes in your journal. My business coach, Dr. Jayne Gardner, calls this "counting your wins". Record both your internal shifts in perspective (your "inner wins") and your worldly successes (your "outer wins"). Two amazing things happen when you record your successes. First, you begin to really appreciate yourself as you notice your own successes, both small and large. Second, successes seem to multiply when you are looking for them. It’s almost as if you set your intention to have successes in order to record them in your journal, and so you have them. Recording your successes is another way to be your own best friend. Today, I re-read my journal entries for the last four months and marveled at all the successes I wrote about. I’m proud of myself for recognizing them and for recording them. (There - I just appreciated myself! BFF!)
A third way to be your own BFF is to teach yourself some perspective. Our inner critic is swift to berate ourselves for any imperfection we might notice in ourselves. If you are your own best friend, you will talk back to your inner critic and say, "In six months (or six years, or at the end of my life), am I even going to remember this incident?" If the answer is no (and almost all the time it is), tell your critic to take a hike. A friend says that he gives himself a day to feel bad about something, but the next morning, he wakes up with self-forgiveness in his heart. That’s being your own best friend - silencing your inner critic with perspective and self-forgiveness.
Sometimes I think it is easier for us to accept God’s unconditional love than it is to accept our own unconditional love. We get sucked into thinking that the Divine is more loving, more powerful, more wonderful than we are so we can mentally understand that loving me is easy for God. However, if we carry the Divine spark within us, we can and must love ourselves. Loving ourselves is the path to peace.
So, look yourself in the mirror today and ask that gorgeous face of yours, "Will you be my BFF?"