I used to say that I was one of the top five funniest people I know. But then I started devouring books written by my favorite comedians and my name moved down a few notches. But I’m ok with that. I still think that I’m highly entertaining and I would love to be friends with me. I have a few great qualities that make me a great friend. (I about peed my pants laughing through Mindy Kaling’s list ‘Why it’s so awesome to be my friend’ in her book Why Not Me? I think you should make your own list called ‘Why I’m the most awesome’ to detail your most endearing qualities and send it to me!)
I didn’t always feel this way. Because, well, I’m not perfect. And back when I was a perfectionist, being not-perfect was unacceptable. (I consider myself a “recovering perfectionist,” because I just don’t have time for that nonsense anymore.)
I’m sure you can relate: when you take honest inventory of the sum of your being, your flaws add up more quickly than your charms. While it’s easy to feel this way, I would suggest that your friends and your loved ones disagree with the outcome of your equation. Sure, it’s true: no one is perfect. And it’s also true that anger, jealousy, bitterness, and insecurity are ubiquitous human emotional responses. In yoga philosophy, we believe we are all working toward equilibrium between the dark and the light sides of our personality (remember this post about those crazy neon shorts?) to embrace our whole and authentic presence.
We can still be friends with ourselves, even if we are only nearly-perfect.
Building an authentic and accepting friendship means investing time into a relationship. In his study of the hilarity of modern dating Modern Romance, comedian and author Aziz Ansari concluded that surface level, three-new-ladies-a-night-found-on-Tindr dates were not as fulfilling as investing time and effort into getting to know one person at at time. Ansari studied how romantic relationships were built in small towns where the pickin’s were slim (surprise, surprise, he chose a town in Kansas) and found that when choices were limited, people found fulfillment in the dating scene by spending quality time with one person and getting to know them well, instead of making a split-second ‘Hot or Not’ decision.
Well, pickin’s are slim: there is only ONE you.
And YOU need to invest in yourself, get to know yourself, and make friends with yourself—the imperfect parts AND the perfect parts—to truly feel whole, authentic, and present.
Chögyam Trungpa calls this: “Making friends with yourself through Meditation and Everyday Awareness.” He writes, “meditation is contacting our actual situation, the raw and the rugged state of our mind and being. No matter what is there, we should look at it with presence. [Meditation is] building a long-term friendship with yourself.”
In meditation, when you sit down to make friends with yourself and truly get to know yourself, you will undoubtedly encounter what you deem to be negative aspects about yourself. But, in meditation, you don’t have to hide them; through mindfulness of your presence, you are afforded the luxury of being real, authentic, and unencumbered by judgment.
When you invest time in yourself, as if you are befriending yourself, your inherent worth becomes obvious, delightful, and alluring. Basically, your list of awesomeness will write itself.
Here are some meditation techniques to get you started:
Breathe, Receive Presence Meditation
Happy Making Friends,
Guided Meditation Teachings
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