Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Friendship with Self

Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world. Eleanor Roosevelt

I will turn 61 next month. At first I was distraught--the number itself screamed "old" to me. But something shifted the night I spoke at my book launch party one year ago. An energy came in that felt as if I were stepping into the person I have been trying to become all these years--a wise woman energy which allows me to speak my truth--to myself as well as others.

Eleanor Roosevelt is one of my heroines and this quote of hers is so wise. How can one be true friends with another if we cannot hear and listen to our own hearts and minds and soul? How can we be good listeners, one hallmark of friendship, if we don't listen to ourselves? How can we share our courage and wisdom and strength with another, if we are not in touch with it in ourselves?

This has been a lifelong lesson. I have had many "best friends" over the course of the years, and was devasted when those friendships ended. Betrayal is a theme which appeared and reappeared in my friendships.

Today, my friendships are rich, deep, and nurturing. I must work hard to not lose sight of the friendship with myself first. Am I meeting my own needs? Am I asking for what I need? Am I saying no when I have no energy or time to spare? Will that act or word hurt me or another?

Learning to tune into this wise woman energy helps keep me grounded in my truth.What is happening is that I no longer speak or act out of my emotional reactions, but rather wait for the wisdom to come through.

Instead of wanting and needing a "best friend," today I have several friendships with other women--friendships in which we share our experience, strength and hope. But I have finally become my own "best friend," and it is a friendship I can surely count on till the day I die.



Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

That's a great thing...being your own best friend. I haven't quite gotten there yet. :)

Mystery Writing is Murder

Sharon Lippincott said...

Karen, this is profound. How sad that as young girls we were trained so well to put the needs of others first, and avoid being self-centered, and ... all that stuff.

It's easy to think that we are discovering new ideas and concepts with the growing awareness of "awareness," "waking up," and honoring self. I always appreciate reminders that these are ancient principles. Eleanor Roosevelt remains an amazing woman and inspiration to all of us.

Joanne said...

Cheers to friendships! I love your idea of being our own best friends. It speaks of an honesty and acceptance that shines through then with other friendships as well. I like to think that I am at that point, friends with myself. Thanks for your insight, Karen.

Jen Chandler said...

I always turn your wise words over in my mind several times. Thank you for this. You're right; if we can't love ourselves, how can we love others? Eleanor Roosevelt has long been a heroine of mine. Her words are so brave, so inspiring.

Thank YOU for your inspiring comment on my blog yesterday. I have been balking at the idea of a screen play for sometime but I realized this weekend that if it won't leave me alone, perhaps it is something that I must do. Win or lose, I have to try. Thanks :)


arlee bird said...

Oh so true-- as time goes by and more of my old friends pass on or are so busy with their own lives, I depend on my friendship with myself more and more. These days my role as a friend to others seems to be getting replaced by me being a mentor and older sage.

Mason Canyon said...

I've never thought of it in that way. I guess one does need to be friends with their self. Something I'll have to work on. Thanks for an interesting post.

The Old Silly said...

Love the Eleanor quote. So true. And "amen" to this post, too.

Marvin D Wilson

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That is some of the best advice!

And you're not old! 80 is old.
(And the older I get, the older OLD gets!)

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Wise words, Karen. I love the quote. Being your own best friend is the best gift you can give yourself. Other than really good shoes.

Tamika: said...

I'm thankful everyday for the women God has sprinkled in my life. As far as best friends go, I'm happy to have Jesus. He's the only friend who could ever truly know me- and still love me!

Ann said...

Wise words indeed Karen. Funny I was thinking of writing something along the same theme too. About a self discovery process. It is a great comfort to know others have walked the path and found their way. Thank you.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I’ve always liked that saying about aging that instead of getting older, like fine wine, we’re getting better. I also like the idea of being our own best friend.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I didn't feel old at 60, but I'm a little worried about that next decade marker...but it's just a number, right?

In my family, we often say that "whozit is his (or her) own worst enemy" because we each tend to sabotage our own well being in one way or another (even if it's just eating too much chocolate). It would be nice if we could each become our own best friend instead. I'll work on that.