A friend of mine is going through a tough time, and it’s curious, because her struggle is similar to my own. We’re different sides of the same coin. My challenge comes from intense fear of letting others down. Her challenge comes from a desperate need to be liked.
So, to my friend, I say this: You are beautiful. You are brilliant. You are kind-hearted. I hate seeing you attack yourself for not being who you think others want you to be. Furthermore, WHY? Why do you feel you’re the one who needs to change? You don’t know why they don’t like you. You don’t even know for sure if they don’t like you. You perceive they don’t. So, to see you fight with yourself, trying to adapt to some kind of unknown expectation of who you should be, it’s heartbreaking.
You guys, if you knew my friend, it would boggle your mind that she worries about these things. Her heart is enormous.
I realize that it seems a bit hypocritical, saying all these things to my friend when I know I have so much work to do on myself, but I’m right. I’m right with my advice to her, and it’s advice I should listen to myself. Despite knowing this is true, there are lots of layers that need to be removed. A lot of unlearning of old habits. She and I are smart people. And we’re adults. Did I mention that? We are. We deserve better from ourselves.
If you are reading this, dear friend (and I know you are), let’s hold each other accountable. Let’s work on being kinder to ourselves together, k? We need to love ourselves as much as we love everyone else in our lives — hell, even more so. I’m willing to give it a shot if you are.