Saturday, July 10, 2010

True friends

I was having a discussion with Not-so-Little #1 yesterday about what being a true friend looks like.  We have had this discussion many, many times over the years.  As I explained my take on it, she seemed to agree with me when I said that a true friend doesn't get mad at you when you make mistakes.  A true friend loves you no matter what.  A true friend doesn't try to beat you down or make you feel like they are better than you because they haven't messed up as much as you have.  A true friend doesn't take advantage of friendship.  And then I said something that stumped her.  I said that there is only 1 person that she needs to be friends with.  I told her that, first and foremost, she needs to be a true friend to herself.

Thats when I lost her.  Thats when she tuned me out.  Her eyes glazed over and she just looked away.  It was like I was looking at myself at her age in the mirror.  I too could not bring myself to be a friend to me.  I too struggled with keeping friends.  Everytime I walked away from another friend it hardened my heart a little more.  I blamed the friend for leaving me, but in reality it was I that was doing the leaving.  I didn't think I deserved to have friends, so I made sure that I didn't have too many.

I often think about the friends that I have walked away from in my life.  Some of them would probably not give me the time of day today.  Some of them would joyfully accept me back into their lives.  I have reconnected with some old friends over the past year, and I believe that the only reason that I was able to do that was because I friended myself.  By loving myself unconditionally it helped me to return that love to friends lost. 

I have also made some very special new friends in the last few years.  Opening up my heart to myself was what I needed to make the kind of friends I have right now.  If you feel good about yourself, you attract people who also feel good about you.  If you don't respect yourself you will attract people that also have no respect for you.  I knew this for years before I was actually able to do anything about it.  People would tell me the same thing I told #1 Little.  And as soon as they said those words, "you have to be a friend to yourself first", my eyes would glaze over and I would look away.  I knew full well that that was not possible.

Its possible today.  Today I am able to love the me that I am.  When the Spirit is allowed to shine and be free, self-love can blossom.  When I stopped listening to the lies in my head and started living my life on my terms I became a conduit for Love.  I finally became a true friend.

Its my hope that Not-so-Little #1 doesn't wait till she's 40 to friend herself.  That is a miserable life to live.  I wish I could say that its so simple.  Just accept yourself and live your life joyfully.  It sounds simple, but its not.  Its not easy if you've got your Spirit hidden.  The good news is, that once you let your Spirit shine even a little bit, it starts to get easier.  You start to experience bits of joy and that leaves you hungry for more. 

I believe that we all hold the key to true friendship within us.  Even the nastiest of people that we encounter in life hold the key.  Just remember that their key is misplaced, not lost, just misplaced.  Extending compassion to those angry people could be just what they need to see a glimmer of their shiny.

Is there someone in your life that needs some compassion?  Is there someone in your life that needs to friend themself? Could you be a conduit of Love for them?

Just my thoughts.


Felicitas said...

Such sage advice - and what a beautiful lesson for your daughter, even if she doesn't quite get it yet.

Stacey Smith said...

For some reason, round about 40 is often the time that women finally unshackle themselves from the expectations they've been taught to expect. I have the same concerns for my own children and while I hope I am teaching them the best way, they have to be ready to receive truth. That's how we all are, I suppose.

I'm glad we're friends again!

Tess The Bold Life said...

I seem to make new friends with each decade of life. I don't usually keep the old ones. We just move on. Some relationships get toxic and others I just out grow or they out grow me. I have wonderful memories of 98% of them. Not so little is blessed to have you as a mom.

mermaid said...

Oops. Posted to the wrong entry.

More wisdom here than I could ever imagine, my friend. May you return to your own heart when the hearts of others are locked because of misplaced keys. May your daughter learn this in time.

I hold the same wish for my little one.