To Be, Or Not To Be

If someone asked me to name the single hardest thing I ever had to learn to do, it would be this: To sit in a room, all by myself, with no phone, TV, tablet or any diversion of any kind, and learn to just “be.” I’m not talking about meditation. When we meditate, we are asked to focus on a single thing, like a mantra, our breath, a candle flame, or a sound, in order to clear our minds of the constant chatter and 60, 000 to 80,000 thoughts a day that go flying through our heads. No, I’m talking about sitting with yourself and doing absolutely nothing for absolutely no reason. I’m talking about learning to like your own company.

I can hear all of the gasps right about now: “What? Sit and do nothing at all, for no reason? All by myself?” Yep. You heard me. When I suggest this to someone, you’d think I was asking them to throw away their entire lives and lock themselves in a room with a mass murderer . Maybe what they are really afraid of is this: the idea of being totally alone suggests the idea of being lonely. Nothing could be further from the truth. As the late Dr. Wayne Dyer told us: “You’re always alone, but you’re only lonely if you don’t like the person you’re alone with.” Ah Ha! Here lies the problem. What could be worse than being cooped up with someone you don’t like? So what’s the solution? You guessed it: learning to like yourself.

Louise Hay once said that the longest relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself, so you might as well make it a good one. It is also true that it’s hard to get other people to like you if you don’t like yourself first. One of the very first steps in creating an authentic life is learning to become your own BFF. Who else understands you better than you? Who else will always have your back and will never leave you? Who else likes the same music, the same books, laughs or cries at the same movies and is absolutely the only one who is allowed to read your diary? Who else keeps your secrets and knows your heart’s desires? This is the authentic you, and you’ve known each other since the beginning of time and even before. Isn’t it time to start treating her like the BFF she truly is? It doesn’t matter what has happened in the past. Your BFF never sits in judgement of you. You were always doing the best you could with the knowledge and experience you had at that time. No one can ask any more of anyone. Maybe it’s time to forgive yourself and treat yourself the way you’d like a BFF to treat you.

The wonderful Julia Cameron, in her groundbreaking book, The Artists’ Way,” created the tool known as the Artist Date. This is a special time that is set aside to take yourself out to do something you enjoy, by yourself. It could be anything from taking in a movie, to visiting a craft store, to a stroll in the park, or anything that one might do on a date. You are not only creating a beautiful relationship with yourself, but you are also creating beautiful memories, and you find out how lovely it is to hang out with someone you truly enjoy being with.

So why not give it a try? Take your BFF out on a date. If the weather is nice, go for a walk in nature, or take in that art exhibit you’ve been meaning to see. If the weather isn’t so nice, curl up in a quiet room and enjoy that wonderful feeling  you get when you are so comfortable with the person you’re with, words aren’t necessary. Feeling the love is enough.

Peace and Blessings!

Don’t forget to check out this week’s writing assignment on the home page. Your new BFF can help you with it!





7 thoughts on “To Be, Or Not To Be

  1. Thank you for this!!! To be with oneself. I’ve gotten to the point where I LOVE doing this! I love exploring new stores, neighborhoods, movies with just myself. This is one component of my coaching program as well. It’s a critical missing component!!!


  2. Thank you Barb. I love being alone and exploring with my BFF. It’s my sacred space which my friends and family respect. 🙂


  3. Fabulous article Barb! I believe our most important relationship is the one we nurture with ourselves and taking time to just be with ourselves can be challenging but so rewarding. Thank you so much!


  4. I’m reading this as I sit outside and listen. I’m hearing the neighbor’s phone ring. She answers and begins to speak. The mourning dove is cooing. A car drives by. The breeze rustles the flags on the pole and the hinges creak. Love it!


  5. I have always loved my own company, but you have given me another way to look at. To be with myself as my BFF. That is a lovely way to look at it. Thank you!


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