I'm going to guess that you are a pretty awesome friend :)
I imagine you go that extra mile, give that extra something - whatever it is that they need at any given time.
When they are sad, you are there with a shoulder to lean on.
When they are tired or stressed out, you suggest (insist?!) that they take some time for themselves.
You let them know that it's okay to sleep in, take the day off, watch some mindless tv, ask for help. To not feel guilty about it.
When they start to beat themselves up, you encourage them by reminding them of all the good that they are. What they have accomplished, how far they have come, all the wonderful things that they do.
You send little texts of loving care, drop off soup, run an errand for them, send a funny meme to help them smile, let them rant and rave, share their frustrations, invite them over at any hour.....help in anyway you can.
You would pretty much drop everything to lend a supportive hand in their time of need.
You would help them realize that everything is going to be okay.
I bet you would even step out of your comfort zone to help.
For example, I am pretty lazy when it comes to anything 'labour-ish'. I am a big procrastinator and lover of sitting with a coffee and a book. Not much of a doer over here!
However, if a friend needs me to put together IKEA furniture, or pick up/move/drop off anything....I WILL SHOW UP.
I will put that coffee in a travel mug, stick a bookmark in that book and be there!
You are the same. I know it. You would undo your usual way in order to be there.
TO SHOW UP.
BECAUSE YOU ARE A KIND, COMPASSIONATE, GIVING SOUL!
And that feels good.
When we are what we truly are (kind, compassionate, giving soul) we feel really fucking good.
We feel really fucking good because we are being our authentic self.
We are in alignment with life, the universe, and everything.
However, we think we feel good because of the action itself: what we are doing.
But the feel good thing comes from being our true self.
The action can change: delivering soup, saying kind words, holding a quiet space, helping with furniture...., but the good feeling remains the same. The action itself isn't the feel good source.
The feel good is in the BEING, not the DOING.
In the being of kindness, aka: your true self.
You have being a good friend DOWN!
You don't need to work on that, worry about doing better, thinking that you could do more. NOPE.
Gold star, A+ - DONE AND DONE!
So what is next? Being that awesome friend for, you guessed it, YOU!
Why aren't we as kind to ourselves as we are to those we care about?
Do you offer words of encouragement when you are beating yourself up? Do you remind yourself of all the good you are?
How far you have come, what you have accomplished, how you have made it through some tough times?
Do you encourage yourself to take a day off, sleep in, just watch tv and relax - guilt free?
If a friend came to you with the kind of self talk you often have: "I should be more..." "How could I have been so....." "What is wrong with me?"
"You should be doing.....not....."
"Don't be so lazy"
"Wow, you really suck at....." "That was such a stupid thing to...."
"I don't deserve...." "I don't do enough...." "Why can't I be more....."
"I hate that I....."
"What would I offer to that friend?"
"How can I help?"
"How can I be a good friend?"
Then start being that friend for you.
Here's where the comfort zone thing comes in, because it will be uncomfortable at first....saying those words, offering that help, showing up for YOU....it's uncomfortable.
You'll hear the familiar (sadly comfortable) thoughts that all boil down to: "you're not good enough", but then you will hear the friendly thoughts of "it's okay, I understand" soon after.
Remember, it will be weird at first!
Your first thoughts are your conditioned thoughts based in old story and beliefs (yours and those put on you by other people in your life), societal beliefs and pressures, comparison to others, expectations you put on yourself and/or trying to live up to the expectations of others.
Your second thoughts are your true self showing up! FOR YOU!
The real you. The kind, compassionate, understanding space that resides in all of us.
That space that, when allowed to shine, feels so fucking good.
With time and effort, you will start to notice the second set of thoughts, and will be willing to make the space for them - because they feel as good as when you help a friend!
The second thoughts will become familiar and comfortable. And very welcomed.
You'll begin to discover what it feels like to have such an amazing friend as you!
YOU WILL SHOW UP!
Trust that you are there for you as much as you are for all your other friends.
Be your own best friend and cheer yourself on as you do so! You've got your back, and it feels good.