#10 Learn to be your own best friend.
About 18 months into my head injury when time seemed to drag on
and progress was barely inching along (if not completely stalled)
I made a startling discovery.
I…was very mean…to me.
Somewhere along my bumpy path I had allowed
crummy, impatient, self-hating thoughts to
creep into my mind and settle there.
Yeah, settle like…
and make themselves at home.
I guess in the pain and frustration of life changing disability
I had lost the disconnect button
between my injury and myself.
I was allowing my broken brain to become who I was.
My disability became me, not something that happened to me.
And I let “me” know it all the time.
I was standing in my kitchen one morning
after a lengthy conversation with myself.
A conversation that was not edifying encouraging or comforting.
It was then that I asked myself this question,
“Kim Barnes Waterman, would you talk to your best friend like that?”
And myself answered,
I took that as an open door for communication.
So I proceeded,
“What would you say to your best friend,
Kim Barnes Waterman, if she were struggling as you are?”
Myself answered again,
“I would say you’ve been through a lot.
Give yourself some time.
Cut yourself some slack.
I am proud of your accomplishments.
Your faith in this struggle blesses me.
God has great things for you.”
That’s when a third party joined in
and me, myself and I
all spoke simultaneously
“Learn to be your own best friend!”
Some of the best advice I ever gave myself.
I couldn’t spend my days waiting around
for some kind friend to show up
and encourage me out of my blues.
I had to be that friend.
I had to speak kindly.
I had to declare blessing.
I had to pronounce compassion.
Over my own head.
Into my own ears.
Through my own mouth.
It was time to cut myself some slack.
I had to unwrap the twisty vines of disability
from the core of who I was
and let them straggle off on their own.
No longer could they suck the life out of me
and morph me into someone that even I didn’t care to be around.
I had to release all that I no longer was, due to my accidents,
but still, hold hands with the Kim Barnes Waterman
that I once knew and loved.
I had to learn to become my own best friend.
How about you?
How many bestest friends do you have?
I hope you are one of them.
I hope you are your favoritest friend of all.
A true friend to yourself, rain or shine.
A buddy that gives yourself good, life-giving advice.
A pal that doesn’t belittle, mock or scorn.
A friend that recognizes when you’re tired
or has had a super hard day
and speaks kind encouraging words that
make your shoulders relax
and the tension dwindle.
I hope you are learning right along with me
how to be your own best friend.