When I began my spiritual journey, I was not even aware that I was supposed to be my own best friend. However, when I heard the expression, from the Gita, ‘Your mind can either be your own best friend or your worst enemy’, it became clear that if I cannot be my own best friend, then who can? On my journey, it has been the One above who has taught me the way I can move further ahead on my spiritual path. Without that Supreme Being of Light, it would not have been possible for me to have become the best friend to myself that I have now become.
During my spiritual journey, I have met thousands and thousands of people from across the world, and realised that for a great many people their minds are not their best friends, but indeed their worst enemies. Why is that? Because on one side they are attempting to move forward, on their own spiritual path, but on the other side their minds are full of negative thoughts, and this is pulling them further back and down. Since the pandemic, people have had more trouble with depression and anxiety, with worry and fear, and this is right across the world, even in places where mental health was not an issue, or at least not an issue that was talked about. Now, there is no place that is immune to these mental health concerns.
So where do we begin to become our own best friend? First, by understanding who I am. I am a soul. The precious body houses the inner being, the soul, the conscient light, in the middle of the forehead. When I become fully aware of this wonderful truth, I can go deeper into the self, and I begin to see different layers within. First, I notice my thoughts, and then I notice my feelings. Then I become more able to notice what beliefs I am holding, what predispositions or tendencies I have. For example, do I have the predisposition to happiness or am I prone to anxiety? Then there is the whole subject of memory, which although functioning through the brain, is not in the brain; memory is stored in the soul. So, everything that I am is within this tiny, infinitesimal spark of light, in the centre of the forehead. Anything else external can come and go, and dust will return to dust, but this inner being of light is eternal and it goes on, and with it goes all thoughts, feelings and memory.
When we first start to look at our thoughts, we realise how wild the mind is, how at any given moment my mind can be operating on 12 different channels simultaneously. Yes, we are happy if we can multitask, but there is a big difference between that and being able to focus and complete a task really well, before we begin another task. Just as with a machine, if it overworks it will come to a standstill, so too with the overheated mind. I need to watch the quality, quantity and speed of thoughts. Thoughts create feelings, and these can bring me up or take me down. I can be my own best friend and have elevated thoughts, therefore elevated feelings, and can ascend to work with love, cooperation and harmony, or go the other way and blame everyone and everything for what is going on in my life.
I need to go deep inside myself, the soul, and connect with my own original qualities. Every single soul carries the qualities of love, peace, joy, truth, and purity – they are within each one in a variety of ratios. Some will have a predominance of love, others of purity, others of peace. We can only access these core qualities when we are introverted. When we are extroverted, we get caught up in materialism, but as soon as we go on the inner journey, we do experience the power of silence and peace that lies within.
The more I stay in touch with the Divine, and the deeper I go within myself, the more these latent qualities will emerge. Then I begin to express these qualities, naturally, in thoughts and words and actions. I can do this very consciously – make the connection with the Divine, draw in the love and power and then what was hidden away within me will come into the light and be expressed in my life, my relationships, and within my own mind. When I do this, I feel much better about myself, I become more responsible, more accurate, have better relationships and become more efficient in every task. This spiritual adventure is such that we can never become bored. We develop the ability to learn from whoever is with us and whatever is going on.
Be a friend to yourself. Start each day with a conversation with the self, the soul. Then turn to the Supreme Soul and deepen the conversation. Study spiritual teachings every day to keep the mind and intellect full of wonderful inspirations and nourishment. The more I understand all of these things, the more I become my own best friend and inspire others to do the same.
B.K. Jayanti is Additional Administrative Head of the Brahma Kumaris.