Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 53: Understanding

Sometimes we are called upon to be understanding and compassionate. If you have a friend who is struggling, what do you do? You listen. You sympathize. You are quiet, when necessary. You tell it like it is, as required. Above all, you love your friend into a better mood, a calmer outlook or just through the muck.

I have a recurring conversation with a dear friend in which we remind ourselves that we need to love ourselves as we love our friends. It is easy to love a friend -- you just overlook the rough edges, the less-than-stellar decisions and whatever you'd do differently because it just plain doesn't matter. Loving the self... oh, my. That is quite a different story. Every edge cuts, every decision screams back and everything threatens to overwhelm. We would simply never speak to a friend the way we speak to ourselves. But who better understands the self than the self?

I am still struck by how difficult this discovering worth business is turning out to be. Miss a day of blogging, and guess who starts berating herself? Spend a bit more time reading than might be considered sane, and guess who mentally limps away to hide in more words? Guess who needs to be a whole lot nicer and more understanding to her friends' friend? I am worth treating myself the way I treat (and want to be treated by) my friends. Clearly they love me. Clearly they see something that I often do not. And the same can be said about them -- my friends are so very special. It would sadden me to hear them say things to themselves that make them feel less-than, undervalued or sad.

Be nice to your friends' friend.

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