When coaching someone who is amidst of a puzzling situation, not really knowing what to do, I often suggest an approach that can be really clarifying: Imagine what advice your Best Friend would give you…
It is kind of a dissociative technique, I admit. Instead of wrestling with all aspects of the situation from within, you use this MindFuck trick to place yourself more or less outside the situation, and look at it from the outside. The Best Friend being a person who truely, unconditionnally wishes you the very best, expecting nothing in return.
Observing the effects of the technique, I notice there are two lines of insights that arise from it:
- On the one side, you temporarily silence the various archetypes inside you that create pressure and are not really helping in deciding what to do. They only foster inner conflict.
- On the other side, you deeply connect with a loving kindness towards yourself that is paramount to making the right decision.
Focussiong on the Best Friend archetype
One often feels deeply puzzled because a situation draws on the multitude of archetypes that live within. There is the archetype of the Mother, the Father, the Brother/Sister, the Critic, the Master, the Student, the Angel, the Devil, the Good Boy/Girl, the Bad Boy/Girl… (feel free to add your own 😉 ) and all are playing a part in the internal conflict. The situation would not be puzzling if all your inside advisors were unisono in their advice. So you are facing a cacophony of suggestions. And you get lost.
In this kind of context, it helps to silence all those voices for a while and just listen to what you Best Friend would suggest. You can return to the insights the other archetypes are offering afterwords, but stronger, with the inside power of knowing what Love itself would choose for you.
For the technique to work at its best, I strongly advise to choose a Best Friend energy of the same sex as yours. It avoids any kind of entangling with whatever level of sexual or erotic underlying connotation that you can really best do without. Exception made for the truely homosexual person, who might experience the purest advice when expressed by a Best Friend of the opposite sex.
I think a lot of us acknowledge for themselves that advice you give to someone else as a Best Friend is usually to-the-point. So that is what you can grant yourself with the BFF-technique: the to-the-point advice you really need.
Connection to Loving Kindness
This difference we observe between advice we can offer a true friend versus inner conflict when searching for advice towards ourselves is in fact a proof that we fail to apply our Loving Kindness to ourselves. Thus apart from resulting in a clearer view of the situation and a to-the-point Best Friend’s advice, the technique also reminds you how not only others, but most certainly also you yourself benefit from the Loving Kindness you irradiate.
Ideally you would always travel on your life’s journey hand in hand with your own inner Best Friend. I know however how one can forget about this most kind and loving inner archetype. Within lots of people, myself inlcuded, the inner Best Friend often dwells in a forgotten corner of your heart.
Every occasion to invite him/her as a guest of honour at your table reminds you of the Power s/he replenishes you with. S/he is the best company you can have on your life’s journey, always available, always close. Nurture him/her as often as you can…