“What progress have I made? I have begun to be a friend to myself”
– Hecato of Rhodes –
On your first reading of this quote, you may roll your eyes and dismiss it as some alternative or new-age notion.
And I totally understand that.
It’s taken me a long while to have some humility about myself and actually accept that there is a lot of value and wisdom in the so called “universe-y”, “hippy”, or “spiritual” concepts.
If that’s you, perhaps it helps to frame it like so…
Over 2000 years ago, this fellow known as Hecato of Rhodes jotted down in his journal the above quote. And if such an idea was worth sharing 2000 years ago, and has stood the test of time to arrive in our Instagram feeds in 2020, then there is probably some truth to it.
So why is this – being a friend to yourself – so important?
To provide some context, last week, on the 10th of September, it was R U OK Day.
Through R U OK Day, the organisation aims to reduce suicide rates around the country, encouraging people to ask those around them “Are you okay?”. On this day, we are reminded of the importance of connecting with our friends, relatives or colleagues, and having an honest conversation around mental health.
R U OK highlights the significance of checking in with our friends – most of us do an exceptional job of this –, but what is sometimes overlooked, is the significance of checking in with ourselves.
The next time you check in with your mates and ask “Are you okay”, do yourself a favour and ask yourself the same question.
That’s when you have begun to be a friend to yourself also, and this, as Hecato remarks 2000 years prior, is a constant work in progress.
To sum up: being a friend to yourself is not some “new-age” or “spiritual” click bait. Rather, Hecato’s quote is life changing advice.
So reflect on this quote and what it means to be a friend to yourself. I’m sure your mates would agree, you’re worth having around.
– Serge Houhlias –
P.S. Below are a couple of links in regards to mental health with some information that may prove to be useful.