Do you realize you are the one person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with? Do you understand that you are the closest person to you? And that you will always be the closest person to you? The one person in the whole world who will never ever leave you. No matter what.
Do you realize that no one, no matter what they do nor how hard they try, is ever going to get closer to you than you? And even if you know this, have you taken the time to really get close to yourself so that you truly and honestly know who you are?
My guess is probably not. Why do I say this? Because strangely enough, so few people seem to be comfortable with the idea of getting close to themselves.
Afraid Of Looking Within?
Why is it like this? Why are we so afraid of looking within? Why is it so difficult for us to truly face ourselves and find out what really feels right to us? Without having to justify how we feel to anyone else? Why is it so hard to admit to ourselves the truth about ourselves? It’s almost like it’s taboo or something. Why do we have such difficulty knowing for ourselves in our own hearts and minds who we really are and what we really like?
If you don’t know who you are, how can you live a happy life? And if you say your life is happy right now, I might ask – a happy life for whom? How can you know who is living your happy life if you don’t know who you are?
Some people are living happy lives for their husbands. Some for their wives. Some for their children. Others are living happy lives for their parents. What about you? Whose happy life are you living? Is it your own or someone else’s? Because the question is how can you honor yourself and make good choices for yourself if you don’t even know who you are? How can you do it if you haven’t taken the time to sit down with yourself and find out what’s right for you? And if you don’t know what makes you tick, how can you take proper care of you?
You can only take care of yourself if you know yourself.
You can only make good choices for yourself if you know yourself.
You can only set limits if you know yourself.
But to know yourself you have to be able to answer basic questions like:
What do you really like (not what you think you ‘should’ like or what other people think you ‘should’ like)
What’s OK for you
What’s not OK for you
What makes you feel good
What makes you feel uncomfortable
What you find unacceptable
Where your limits are
You can only find the answers to these questions by going inside and asking yourself humbly and honestly. Can you sit quietly with yourself and find out? And answer just for you. Again not for someone else—not for your wife, your husband, your boyfriend, your kids, your parents, or your friends?
Explanations Not Necessary
If you really want to answer these questions, you must realize that to answer honestly you don’t have to explain to anyone why you are the way you are. You are you and you are the way you are, for whatever reasons. You don’t have to justify yourself to anyone. It’s as simple as that.
You have the right to be you, whatever that means, but you must accept the consequences of being you. By this I mean there is no right and wrong way to be you, but in this universe where we live, there is the law of cause and effect, which is always working. And that means that whoever you are, every action has consequences. But you always have the right to think and do what you feel and believe what is best for you—and accept the consequences. Always. Because no one escapes the law of cause and effect.
That’s just the way it is. Which means sooner or later, you will always get to see, feel, taste, touch and live the consequences of your choices. Always. And this is exactly how it should be because how else could you learn? How else could you really discover who you are except by experiencing the effects of your choices?
Become Your Own Best Friend
One of the secrets of living a happy life is to become your own best friend. But you can only do this when you know who you are, when you honestly and truly know yourself. Because what does a best friend do? A best friend sees you for who you really are and unconditionally loves and supports the real you. But how can you do this for yourself if you don’t honestly know who you are?
So being your own best friend means communicating honestly with yourself. And knowing who you are and not pretending to yourself (or anyone else) to be what you’re not. Being your own best friend means loving yourself and taking care of yourself. It means being able to take stock of yourself and make a realistic assessment of your strengths and your weaknesses. It means respecting yourself for who you are and asking yourself honestly what is right for you in each situation. It means being able to set limits as to what you are willing to do for others. It means being able to ask “What can I offer in this situation that is honestly congruent with who I am and with my skills, strengths and energy level right now? So that I respect and honor myself, while respecting and honoring the situation and the other people involved as best I can? ” And then sticking to that.
In other words, it means asking yourself what is appropriate in each now moment so that you can maintain your integrity, feel good about yourself, and function optimally, both today and tomorrow. For many this is a tall order, especially if you are a “people pleaser”. But the truth is that to be your own best friend, you have to be able to say “no” to others without feeling guilty and without feeling that you have to explain or justify your choices or your behavior.
Subtitles by InnerSelf
©2014 Barbara Berger. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the author.
This article was written by the author of:
Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life
by Barbara Berger.
What is preventing you from being happy now? Is it your partner, your health, your job, your financial situation or your weight? Or is it all the things you think you “should” do? Barbara Berger takes a look at all the things we think and do that prevent us from living happy lives now. Barbara presents 10 practical ways to use this understanding in your daily life, your relationships, at work and for your health.
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About the Author
Barbara Berger has written over 15 self-empowerment books, including the international bestseller "The Road to Power / Fast Food for the Soul" (published in 30 languages), "Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life" (more than 20 languages) and “The Awakening Human Being – A Guide to the Power of Mind”. American-born, Barbara now lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. In addition to her books, she offers private coaching sessions to individuals who wish to work intensely with her (in her office in Copenhagen or on Skype and telephone for people who live far away from Copenhagen). For more about Barbara Berger, see her Web site: www.beamteam.com