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Recently I was watching an interview with Whitney and she was asked, “Who is your worst demon?” The answer wasn’t what I was expecting. She gave a soft smile and replied, “Whitney.” Then she laughed and continued with, “I’m my own best friend and my biggest worst enemy. No one makes me do anything. Right or wrong, good or bad, I choose.”
Yes, I’ve heard this a gazillion times before, but this time it really stuck with me and got me to thinking. I know I’m my own worst enemy. I call myself the self-saboteur and it affects every area of my life. Say, I’ve eaten right for weeks, then I see a box of snacks and I tell myself one cookie won’t hurt—even though I really don’t even want the stupid thing and I know I can’t eat just one cookie. Yes, I then start beating myself up for eating the one cookie which leads me on a downward spiral that takes weeks or months to pull myself out of.
My exercise routine isn’t immune either. I work out every morning because I’m lazy and if I don’t get it out of the way before I start doing other things the next thing I know it’s two a.m. and I’m crawling into bed when I remember I forgot to exercise. Thanks brain for telling me this as I’m trying to go to sleep because now I have all night to belittle myself for not doing an hour’s worth of activity that didn’t include sitting on my butt in front of the computer. And yes, the next morning I rush to the cookie instead of the treadmill.
Oh, and then there’s the writing. I live a hectic life. Surrounded by chaos and buried under stress. So what. Everyone has their own form of chaos and they still manage to get their daily chores done without making excuses for the lack of words showing up on the still empty page.
It is so easy to blame outside influences for the decisions we make. Just because someone or something puts it out there, it doesn’t mean we have to pick it up. That’s where the best friend part comes in—I do believe.
I’m a good friend to other people. Try to help out where I can. Listen and offer advice. Hold their hand or give them a shoulder to lean on. When they put themselves down for a failure, I’m right there to kick them in the rear and remind them of all the good they’ve done and one slipup doesn’t mean they’ve ruined everything they’ve worked so hard toward. But I rarely—like never—do this for myself. I slip off the eat-healthy train and I drown myself in Cheetos and those wonderful cookies. I stumble around the treadmill one day and it becomes a catchall for weeks. I don’t write for one day and well, I’m sure you can figure out how long it takes me to get back into that routine.
So how does one become one’s own best friend? How do you love yourself as much as you love everyone else? How do you forgive yourself for the slipups and get right back on that train without missing a beat?
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