You Do You

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I consider the fostering of interpersonal connections (aka friendships) to be an exercise in mindfulness, and a pretty important one.

It’s usually about logging out of the digital distraction world to be with someone in the real world or about having someone who will be there with you when times get rough. Scanning my blog I found the friendship theme all over the place: in the ups and downs of life, the inadequacies of our “social” media, and the scourge of depression and suicide.

But a number of my friends have recently (and rightly) pointed out that this type of solution doesn’t work for everyone. Many people don’t have close friends they feel comfortable running to. Many have experienced shunning and even ridicule from friends when they do.

I have some great friends who I love dearly and have been there for me in all sorts of situations. As I found those friends I also found out a lot about myself. But despite all of that, I have to keep reminding myself of one important fact: my well-being isn’t up to my friends, it’s up to me.

Fostering good relationships can help you be more mindful, but overreliance on them to solve all your problems is not. They will never be the solution. The solution is you.

It’s you making a choice to react to the outside world in a constructive way. It’s you building up your capacity to handle life’s inevitable drama. It’s you spending time to better yourself instead of procrastinating with useless distractions.

My advice still stands; there’s an enormous benefit to building strong relationships, especially in this day and age where technology simultaneously brings us together and pulls us apart. Just don’t get all codependent about it.

Take some me time. Be alone — at home, out in nature, on a run, during yoga, on a long drive, part of a meditation, wherever — be present with your thoughts. Write to yourself. Listen to yourself. Learn from yourself.

When all is said and done, you’re all you got. And that’s actually kind of awesome.

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