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How Do I Become My Best Friend When I Really Don’t Like Myself?

Rhonda offers insights into building friendship with yourself on a regular basis.

Hi, it's Rhonda Magee. And I've been asked to answer this question. How do I become my best friend when I really don't like myself? I have to admit that, you know, I feel a little bit of sadness when I hear this question. My heart goes out to you if you are feeling this right now. And at the same time, I completely understand it.

It's very relatable. I think, I myself have had these moments when I, you know, didn't like myself. or I certainly have moments when I can I feel, like just a part of me that kind of doesn't, you know, isn't loving to myself. So again, I don't think we're alone when we have these kinds of feelings. So I can say that feeling, this, an underlying this kind of question, often, you know, it's, for some of us, it just might be a fleeting experience.

But for others, there might be some kind of deeply embedded sense that we, you know, don't have a lot of worth. And it might be really, really a kind of a deep structure that we're working with. So whatever the degree to which this is a question that resonates with you, I want to just invite an opening up to just a sort of inner, loving friend. Right? Frankly, that must be a part of your experience somewhere, however, difficult to, to really be with, or else you wouldn't be listening to my voice right now. So please just take a moment to really recognize this bit of good news.

Again, the fact that you are here now, listening to my voice is a sign that something in you knows that this idea that you don't like yourself is really just maybe an idea, or maybe it's an idea that you, some part of you is ready to let go of and to work on releasing. It's just a habit of thought that somehow has taken root in your heart and mind, this idea, I don't like myself. But it's one that some part of you is really ready to weed out and to begin again. So what I'm going to share here are just a couple of ways of working with this feeling and giving yourself really a supportive foundation on which to build a sense of feeling more friendly to yourself on a regular basis. So the first thing is just to see that this feeling, this thought is just another form.

It's another one of these kinds of obstacles to meditation practice and mindfulness. There are lots of them. There are a number of standard hindrances to practicing. And this one is what's often called aversion. Again, another, it's another kind of resistance to just allowing yourself to be, to be full of your own presence, your own worthiness, your own gifts.

And so knowing that these kinds of hindrances occur to all of us, are obstacles that, in one way or another, we're all kind of working with, helps us to sort of, you know, let go of the judgment that can come up when we realize that we are kind of standing in our own way somehow as we turn toward the opportunity to practice. In this case, to practice a self-compassion and befriending ourselves . So I want to invite you then to explore practicing with working with this particular kind of aversion. This way of holding the invitation to befriend yourself that immediately causes this kind of allergic reaction. I don't really like myself.

How can I be my own friend? So just first pause. Take a deep breath. For me, I'm already placing one hand over the heart because there's such a tenderness that comes up for me when I really turn toward this as a, you know, an actual experience that those, one or more of many people listening to my voice right now might be feeling. And because I know how painful this is, that hand is already over the heart. And I would invite you to do the same, if you're feeling this right now.

So as you explore that this is just one example, it can feel almost like self hatred, or just a kind of, you know, difficulty seeing yourself as your own best friend, take a deep breath. And just notice. This is an example of me pushing away, being aversive to, resisting an invitation to see, to be present, to explore who I am more deeply and to disrupt the kind of habit of mine that some part of me is ready to let go of. Once you can see this in yourself, see that this is just one of a number of common ways that we as humans actually latch on to, habits of mind and habits of thought that create more suffering than any one of us really deserves. Once you see that in yourself, you might smilingly let go of judgment about it, but with a kind of openness to being, you know, aware of your own humanity, to this extent.

Just invite working with this particular hindrance with a practice called loving kindness. Now this is a practice that I introduce quite frequently in my work. It's a core practice for cultivating more of this capacity to meet our own suffering with love. So a short version of the practice, which I'm just going to offer here in an introductory sense, invites, yeah, pausing. So if you'll do this with me right now.

Pause. Feel. Haa. The sense of the in-breath. The out-breath, wherever you happen to be right now.

Just take a cleansing breath and feel the ground beneath you as a support. And then just rest in the in-breath and the out-breath, just for a few moments. Then feeling this hand over the heart, maybe the other hand, just over the, so part of the belly, just beneath the belly button. Really important nerve center there where we feel deeply our intuition. So just resting with these, our hands, perhaps on these important points of, of energy in the body.

In ways that my students sometimes say this is like giving ourselves a hug, but just breathing in and out. Resting with the feeling of these, our own hands, your own beautiful hands, your loving hands on these beautiful parts of your own body. So now from this place of pausing and gently offering support and love to yourself, call to mind someone from whom you've already felt love and support. So this is a kind of shift into a visualization practice. So you might imagine being with that person right now, or perhaps feeling their hand in yours.

And on the next in breath, as you breathe in, really see if you can breathe in more of the sense of the felt sense of being in that person's presence, the warmth. The acceptance, the love. And on the next out-breath, imagine that you're offering to that person around whom you felt this natural kind of friendliness and acceptance. Imagine offering to that person the wish for their own wellbeing, kindness, self care, and compassion. And you could, if you want, repeat this phrase silently.

As if you're offering it to this person. May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be well. May you be safe. May you be at ease.

If you're like me, there might be a smile coming on your face as you imagine offering this to this person who has been a source of love, kindness, friendship in your own life. And now, the invitation is to turn those same, very loving, gentle phrases and invite the willingness to offer them to ourselves. And this, again might be more or less difficult, if we really are struggling with feelings of unworthiness or the sense that we don't like ourselves. But just see if you can bake it right now just a little bit and just give up the resistance and just experiment with this phrase, offering these same gentle phrases toward yourself now. And you could imagine yourself right here, right now as you are, or if it helps, imagining yourself as an infant, totally innocent, totally deserving of love.

Or at some prior point where you would have really benefited from a friend. So the invitation here is to offer that friendliness to yourself, as best you can, by offering those same gentle phrases. May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be at ease. May you be safe.

Offering those gentle phrases right to yourself right now. Now it may seem a little unnatural or unusual for you, but pausing and offering phrases like this to yourself may be just what you need to begin to actually feel more softness, more kindness, more love towards yourself. Start just like this. Repeat this phrase. May I be filled with loving kindness.

May I be well. May I be safe. Offering this kind of love to yourself with a gesture perhaps of a hand over the heart, your own heart. Just see if doing so might began to help reset the foundation, your foundation for this shift, this mind shift toward being able to be your own best friend. Keep up these simple gentle practices as frequently as you can, certainly on a daily basis, just as a period of, just for a period of time, just to see what might be the benefit for you of engaging in these intentionally loving practices for yourself.

It might take awhile, but if you're like me, over time, you will feel just a little bit more kind to yourself and deserving of your own loving friendship. I wish you much support on your journey. Be kind and gentle to yourself from here.

Talk

4.6

How Do I Become My Best Friend When I Really Don’t Like Myself?

Rhonda offers insights into building friendship with yourself on a regular basis.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, it's Rhonda Magee. And I've been asked to answer this question. How do I become my best friend when I really don't like myself? I have to admit that, you know, I feel a little bit of sadness when I hear this question. My heart goes out to you if you are feeling this right now. And at the same time, I completely understand it.

It's very relatable. I think, I myself have had these moments when I, you know, didn't like myself. or I certainly have moments when I can I feel, like just a part of me that kind of doesn't, you know, isn't loving to myself. So again, I don't think we're alone when we have these kinds of feelings. So I can say that feeling, this, an underlying this kind of question, often, you know, it's, for some of us, it just might be a fleeting experience.

But for others, there might be some kind of deeply embedded sense that we, you know, don't have a lot of worth. And it might be really, really a kind of a deep structure that we're working with. So whatever the degree to which this is a question that resonates with you, I want to just invite an opening up to just a sort of inner, loving friend. Right? Frankly, that must be a part of your experience somewhere, however, difficult to, to really be with, or else you wouldn't be listening to my voice right now. So please just take a moment to really recognize this bit of good news.

Again, the fact that you are here now, listening to my voice is a sign that something in you knows that this idea that you don't like yourself is really just maybe an idea, or maybe it's an idea that you, some part of you is ready to let go of and to work on releasing. It's just a habit of thought that somehow has taken root in your heart and mind, this idea, I don't like myself. But it's one that some part of you is really ready to weed out and to begin again. So what I'm going to share here are just a couple of ways of working with this feeling and giving yourself really a supportive foundation on which to build a sense of feeling more friendly to yourself on a regular basis. So the first thing is just to see that this feeling, this thought is just another form.

It's another one of these kinds of obstacles to meditation practice and mindfulness. There are lots of them. There are a number of standard hindrances to practicing. And this one is what's often called aversion. Again, another, it's another kind of resistance to just allowing yourself to be, to be full of your own presence, your own worthiness, your own gifts.

And so knowing that these kinds of hindrances occur to all of us, are obstacles that, in one way or another, we're all kind of working with, helps us to sort of, you know, let go of the judgment that can come up when we realize that we are kind of standing in our own way somehow as we turn toward the opportunity to practice. In this case, to practice a self-compassion and befriending ourselves . So I want to invite you then to explore practicing with working with this particular kind of aversion. This way of holding the invitation to befriend yourself that immediately causes this kind of allergic reaction. I don't really like myself.

How can I be my own friend? So just first pause. Take a deep breath. For me, I'm already placing one hand over the heart because there's such a tenderness that comes up for me when I really turn toward this as a, you know, an actual experience that those, one or more of many people listening to my voice right now might be feeling. And because I know how painful this is, that hand is already over the heart. And I would invite you to do the same, if you're feeling this right now.

So as you explore that this is just one example, it can feel almost like self hatred, or just a kind of, you know, difficulty seeing yourself as your own best friend, take a deep breath. And just notice. This is an example of me pushing away, being aversive to, resisting an invitation to see, to be present, to explore who I am more deeply and to disrupt the kind of habit of mine that some part of me is ready to let go of. Once you can see this in yourself, see that this is just one of a number of common ways that we as humans actually latch on to, habits of mind and habits of thought that create more suffering than any one of us really deserves. Once you see that in yourself, you might smilingly let go of judgment about it, but with a kind of openness to being, you know, aware of your own humanity, to this extent.

Just invite working with this particular hindrance with a practice called loving kindness. Now this is a practice that I introduce quite frequently in my work. It's a core practice for cultivating more of this capacity to meet our own suffering with love. So a short version of the practice, which I'm just going to offer here in an introductory sense, invites, yeah, pausing. So if you'll do this with me right now.

Pause. Feel. Haa. The sense of the in-breath. The out-breath, wherever you happen to be right now.

Just take a cleansing breath and feel the ground beneath you as a support. And then just rest in the in-breath and the out-breath, just for a few moments. Then feeling this hand over the heart, maybe the other hand, just over the, so part of the belly, just beneath the belly button. Really important nerve center there where we feel deeply our intuition. So just resting with these, our hands, perhaps on these important points of, of energy in the body.

In ways that my students sometimes say this is like giving ourselves a hug, but just breathing in and out. Resting with the feeling of these, our own hands, your own beautiful hands, your loving hands on these beautiful parts of your own body. So now from this place of pausing and gently offering support and love to yourself, call to mind someone from whom you've already felt love and support. So this is a kind of shift into a visualization practice. So you might imagine being with that person right now, or perhaps feeling their hand in yours.

And on the next in breath, as you breathe in, really see if you can breathe in more of the sense of the felt sense of being in that person's presence, the warmth. The acceptance, the love. And on the next out-breath, imagine that you're offering to that person around whom you felt this natural kind of friendliness and acceptance. Imagine offering to that person the wish for their own wellbeing, kindness, self care, and compassion. And you could, if you want, repeat this phrase silently.

As if you're offering it to this person. May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be well. May you be safe. May you be at ease.

If you're like me, there might be a smile coming on your face as you imagine offering this to this person who has been a source of love, kindness, friendship in your own life. And now, the invitation is to turn those same, very loving, gentle phrases and invite the willingness to offer them to ourselves. And this, again might be more or less difficult, if we really are struggling with feelings of unworthiness or the sense that we don't like ourselves. But just see if you can bake it right now just a little bit and just give up the resistance and just experiment with this phrase, offering these same gentle phrases toward yourself now. And you could imagine yourself right here, right now as you are, or if it helps, imagining yourself as an infant, totally innocent, totally deserving of love.

Or at some prior point where you would have really benefited from a friend. So the invitation here is to offer that friendliness to yourself, as best you can, by offering those same gentle phrases. May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be at ease. May you be safe.

Offering those gentle phrases right to yourself right now. Now it may seem a little unnatural or unusual for you, but pausing and offering phrases like this to yourself may be just what you need to begin to actually feel more softness, more kindness, more love towards yourself. Start just like this. Repeat this phrase. May I be filled with loving kindness.

May I be well. May I be safe. Offering this kind of love to yourself with a gesture perhaps of a hand over the heart, your own heart. Just see if doing so might began to help reset the foundation, your foundation for this shift, this mind shift toward being able to be your own best friend. Keep up these simple gentle practices as frequently as you can, certainly on a daily basis, just as a period of, just for a period of time, just to see what might be the benefit for you of engaging in these intentionally loving practices for yourself.

It might take awhile, but if you're like me, over time, you will feel just a little bit more kind to yourself and deserving of your own loving friendship. I wish you much support on your journey. Be kind and gentle to yourself from here.

Talk

4.6

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Q&A on Self-Compassion null Playlist · 5 tracks

Q&A on Self-Compassion

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Won’t Self-Compassion and Acceptance Take Away My Ambition to Improve Myself?Talk by Rhonda Magee
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