Thursday, September 20, 2012
Lately I've been rained on by various posts and quotes about weeding out people in your life who only bring in negativity and who discourage you from a path of love and growth. It's like a beacon flashing insistently, calling my attention. I have done something like this before and I realized that it is not a one-time thing because as you yourself grow and evolve, your own needs and contributions to a friendship also change. The ideal is to have friends who grow with you no matter what. But sadly, very, very few pass the test of dealing with both failure and success in one's life. There are people who are only your friends when you are successful, and there are those who prefer that you are forever failing so they can feel better about themselves.
As an adult, finding and cultivating friendships is not as easy as when I was in my twenties and just starting out from college. Especially now that I have become clearer about the kind of life that I wish to live and how I want to grow, it has also become clearer that some people in my life are detrimental to that dream life either by bringing in negative energies or withholding support. But at the same time, in unexpected ways and along unexpected paths and places, I discover other people whose spirits and hearts are attuned with mine. They reach out from the clouds of my uncertain friendships and lay a reassuring hand on my heart. They send surprise notes and comments of encouragement and appreciation. The best are those who express that I have somehow helped them with the little that I have shared, that they find inspiration in what I have shown.
It is not a bad thing to remove people from your life who are no longer in harmony with it. The same way that I will not take it badly if I am let go of, just as I have been by some people that I only realized in the past few weeks. My response is to return the favor of setting them free. We have served each other's purpose in each other's life, now it is time to move on.
We will always be drawn to kindred spirits, even if it takes time as the universe sorts out the glitches and the obstacles and sets up the stage for serendipitous encounters. It could be triggered by a single note of gratitude, a simple expression of appreciation, or a single thoughtful message sent on impulse. You will know, your heart will know, by the feeling of warmth and joy that will spread from the core of your being. You will feel yourself smiling. You will feel your day brightening.
I believe that we will find truer friends when we also become true to ourselves. First we are a true friend to ourselves and then we draw others. In the past couple of years I have recognized those who have always seen me for who and what I am even when I myself was blind to my own self. They are still with me, their soul-strings attached to mine, spanning time and distances and life-milestones. They are few, but they are precious. And now that I am more attuned to my own self I am even more fierce in my love and appreciation for these people. They never let go, they never turned away, they never closed themselves. I am only too eager to prove worthy of such friendships, to nurture, to share.
There are many, many ways to be a true friend. It does not always lie in doing the same thing over and over again until the thing loses its meaning but you keep doing it anyway and then you are no longer sure why it always has to be that way. It is not just about sending birthday gifts without fail. It's not just about sharing the same interests, or the same club, or the same schedules. For me, based on my experiences, a true friend, a kindred spirit, shows up at the perfect moment even when you don't realize you are needing it at that very moment. And then you do realize you were needing it and it was... perfect. It's the little gestures more than the grand ones that make the difference most of the time. The recognition and support of what you value most. The sharing and openness because you both want to give each other the best possible chance on anything in life. The quiet cheering that you can feel and hear from the heart. The fact that you don't see each other much but when you do it's like you pick up where you left off in a way that is not stuck or stagnant, but in a way that you have both grown and yet you still fit together. That is such beautiful assurance, that is like coming home and finding new lovely things. There are upward or deeper movements, not vicious circles. The felt mutual-ness of everything, that certainty that what you have is two sides of one coin, not a one-sided, lopsided kind of thing where you hit blank walls and locked doors and you wonder why you have soul bruises. It takes two to tango and all that jazz.
For all my old true friends, thank you for being constant stars in my oft-dark-and-stormy life.
For all my new true friends, let us make more inspiring stories of growth and support and love.