The past few weeks, I have been thinking a LOT about relationships and connections to people. In reality, focusing more on people and connections started in 2019. That’s because that year was the toughest year of my life, and it was the start of a life-altering transition for me. I didn’t know it at the time because I felt like my life was collapsing around me. That was due to the death of my father, who was the last remaining foundational element of my family. Everything that was my norm was being snatched away from me or altered, and I had absolutely no control over it. The entire year felt like I was living someone else’s life in a parallel universe. One of my norms were my friends. They ended up being my lifeline to normalcy or the degree of it I could hold on to during this time.
During all of 2019 and now in 2020, these friends have been the sanity in a still pretty strange world. Although I focused on the surreal nature of 2019 and present, it made me view friendships and relationships so differently than previously. I admit that I didn’t think about friendship as much as I should have and that I took them a bit for granted way more than I should have.
I was, always very much intuned to the needs of my friends, I didn’t consciously neglect them. However, sometimes life seemed to be so busy that I didn’t have time to connect with them as much as I would have liked. I was going to school, hustling, being a mom, caregiver to parents, and so much more.
Fast forward to 2020 and being sucked into a vortex. Life now has so much newness and uncertainty about so many things. That is primarily due to EVERYTHING being so much out of the norm. I am still discovering my new normal, and although so many things are still so new in this process of discovery, I do understand that friendships and relationships are a huge aspect of that.
Real friendships have been my lifeline throughout the past year. Some friends showed me so much love during this time. I was sometimes emotionally “in my bag” but they always checked on me. ALWAYS. As a person that presents the vision of strength outwardly to everyone, all the time, these friends STILL checked on me. Some had challenges in their own life, but they took time from their day to check on me. Although I was struggling, this filled my heart in a way that it has never been filled before.
I have been getting in touch with who I am more due to my amazing therapist at JHJ Therapy. I have been learning more about myself and making a conscious effort to be more purposeful in my relationships and friendships. That will be an ongoing process because I have a lot of behaviors to unlearn, but I am making progress.
A part of my progress in this area is rethinking how I view people and relationships, loving, and nurturing friendships more. As a part of this process, I am double downing on my hard stop on dealing with trash behaviors AND making sure I don’t participate in these same trash behaviors. That will be an ongoing process to build deeper, more intimate, and longer-lasting friendships and relationships.
Trash behaviors are dealing with relationships that are with narcissistic, problematic, and or selfish people. I don’t blame folks for their inability to be good friends because most have no experience with real friendship. If you don’t have experience with someone that is a true friend, you won’t know how to be a real friend yourself. What’s problematic is when people expect a friendship from others that they lack the capacity to return.
If you are lucky to have friends that check on you, love you, and can show you how much they love you, that is a true blessing. If you have friends like this, you are lucky. If you are a friend like this, you are doubly lucky. Embrace them, love them, AND check on them just because you love them, not just when you NEED them.
We can all stand to make improvements in this area. The goal is to be conscious and aware of your actions and not just the actions of others. That takes a lot of self-awareness and the ability to look at your actions before looking at the actions of others. My grandmother would always say, ” when you point one finger at others, you have four fingers pointing back at yourself.” Those wise words always made me look at my behaviors before I thought about what someone was doing to ME.
When all is said and done, people make the world go round. It’s about SHOWING love, as much as it is about receiving love. So, be a love giver as much as you are a love receiver. I bid you all peace and love, people.
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