Premises of being a “Friend to Yourself”

English: Object of perception in psychology

This is the skeleton of what we reviewed over three days of 1-2 hour workshop sessions (which ended last week.)  We named these the unchanging premises of being a friend to yourself.

 Everything starts and ends with Me.

Freedom to choose is here.

 I can see Me using various paradigms such as the Jungian Typology and the biopsychosocial model.

These are tools, not boxes.

 Me is never alone.

 Essence.

Essence is the part of Me that is timeless and unchanging.

 Truth.

There is our perception of reality – from the wind to the whim.  Then there is Truth that like the other premises to self-care are not dependent on my beliefs, emotions or behaviors.

Questions:  What do you think of these premises?  Would you change anything?

Self-Care Tip – Know and name your premises to befriending yourself.

11 thoughts on “Premises of being a “Friend to Yourself”

  1. “These are tools, not boxes. ” I think this is a big first step in realizing that the tools exist and it is a long learning process to employ them. We should not measure success from short time employment.

  2. Interesting… especially the “Me is not alone.” I disagree – I believe that Me can absolutely and happily be alone, but not necessarily lonely.

    In my own journey, I realize that Me = Alone is not a negative at all (we are born alone, we die alone, and we ought to realize that we are alone in life. It’s not a bad thing at all and allows us to avoid disappointment!

    • hi carol. thanks for your reply. i like it. Me = Alone. in many ways that’s true and i think i can see where u r coming from. i think it is consistent w our premises in that “everything starts and ends with Me.” we are naked when we come in to the world and naked we leave it. awesome.
      it’s not in conflict w the intent of the other premise of “we are not alone” although we are working on how to say that better :). it goes back to the awesome truth that we are not made special by our suffering but rather are special for who we are; that in all our suffering, others out that have felt it and will feel it and are feeling those same feelings.
      In no way does this smear or fade our “essence”, our uniqueness that is unchanged by suffering or time….
      tell me more. i’d luv to connect better on this and especially say it better. keep on.

      • Sana,

        Good points. My main idea is that I believe that we are taught from a young age that we must find a mate, a friend, a partner, and we must connect with people at all times… and that’s what causes so much suffering in the world when others simply are not there. A so much better way of child-rearing would be to teach children that they are more than enough for the world and being alone is wonderful, exciting, and furthermore, a natural state. When “joined” with another, too often we lose that sense of self so that “we” instead of “me” prevails. Me should always be adequate, accepting, peaceful and happy without the need for we.

        Perhaps this comes from ongoing disappointments in life (long-term marriage to a clinically diagnosed narcissist can jade one’s perspective!) or an awakening that traditional upbringings where alone = bad, together = good was the norm. Today I know better and love me for me… period. 🙂

        We as a choice rather than a need is a different story – and we can choose (rather than feel we need) to be with, and still happily alone.

        Just more food for thought to add to the discussion.

      • You’re both so right. There is alone and there is alone. The workshops gave us insight into the premise of “we are not alone” by helping those of us who suffer (and, to one extent or another, we all do) to understand that we are never alone in that suffering, for as much as we certainly often feel alone. That somewhere out there someone else is hurting as much as we are – always. I don’t think you can say it much better, Sana. It just has to be said over and over until we “get it”.

        And then there is the aloneness that my daughter, who has neither husband nor significant other and is not unhappy about that, must be feeling this very moment as she sits in her living room either in the process of having her dog of 17 years put down or grieving the loss that has just occured in her life. She has all of us, her family and friends, to whom she can reach out at any time, but right now she probably has never felt more alone in her life. She knows others have gone through this. She knows she will live through it. She knows it was – is – the right thing to do. And I, as her mother, am undoubtedly making much more out of this than is necessary, but I can’t imagine an aloneness more painful than losing the love of your life, be it pet or person. I’ve felt the aloneness of being mentally ill. I still do even though I am so much more whole than I have been probably all of my life. I’ve never felt the aloneness of deep grief, but it seems to me that it comes down to a head or heart thing. In your head you know you are never alone; when your heart is breaking that concept is hard, if not impossible to grasp. (And, as an aside, I have never felt the pain I have felt today as I grieve with my daughter so many miles away. It’s real pain…but it’s pain that I know, as a friend to myself, I am never alone in suffering through.)

        • Nancy,

          I’m sorry that you are going through this pain and the pain of your daughter feeling alone with her grief. As a pet person, I can totally relate. And what you are saying must provide solace – to think that someone else has or is suffering the same/similar pain as you- it is simply not anything I have ever come to experience. The alone that I felt in a loveless marriage (actually there was love but it was always all directed at him) and the alone of not being accepted by family (a perfectionist father) are things I have “learned to live with”. While I was married, I was surrounded by others, but I felt more alone and lonely than ever. Growing up in a family of 7 where everyone had to constantly perfect their “state of grace” (religion) and be perfect academically (99% meant you missed the “extra credit question” – shame on you!) was also much more lonely than anyone might imagine.

          Since getting divorced and terminating toxic and abusive relationships and learning to truly love myself, I am now truly solo and alone but seldom lonely. This is a nice change. Don’t know if this makes sense.

          It is nice that you and your daughter can share these experiences and be there for each other even if you are not physically present together. You may each be alone but together – even miles apart- you are sharing the pain and that has got to be good in this bad situation.

          Sending you both positive energy.

          • Carol, your dialogue is stimulating, interesting and so much of an honor to share! so many of us stay silent. thank you. You make sense and many are seriously hurt or have been in this same way that hearing you can only inspire. i’ve also felt those times where Me was what I saw as safety and safe and i didn’t perceive that i could trust any space or person outside of Me. Keep on.

          • Thank you, Carol. I always hope that my daughter feels as you do – that she is alone but seldom lonely. As a mother, that is my greatest fear but also my greatest hope. She doesn’t participate in this blog and has never read it but she has always acted in a way that tells me that Me comes first in her life. I’m very proud of her and will share your words with her, if that is alright, because I think they are words that she would connect with (although the pain in her life has been no relationships, other than friendship, with men, and a huge amount of health issues as well as a severe learning disability – all of which she has handled the way SHE wanted to and none of which have caused her to do anything but succeed well in life and in her career. She, also, would give her shirt off her back to anyone while, at the same time, keeping Me first.)

            Her dog is “free” now, as she told me last night. She had been her pet and her friend for almost half of her life, and she had been our granddog for 17 years. Lots of tears but it is all a good thing for Tippy now and I thank you – and Sana – for your kind words.

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