Philosopher Henry David Thoreau once quoted a true friendship as,” wise as it is tender. The parties to it yield implicitly to the guidance of their love, and know no other law nor kindness.”
Good friendships refresh our soul. It makes life more meaningful as we share experiences & moments,some of which we will forget, with people we will never forget.
As precious as our relationships mean to us, it is so easy to get caught up in our own webs of life tending to put the people we care about on the back-burner when trials and tribulations overwhelm us personally. We have so many problems that we want to fix in solitude, shutting off from the world- sometimes without expressing any explanation to others on why we’re doing it. We look at our absence as doing others a favor by alienating ourselves in a space where no one is welcome. Then here comes the title you dread from your friends that marks you officially “the distant friend.”
Over the past few months, I noticed I became the “distant friend” struggling to find a steady balance of building an evolving brand & business that consumes most of my time, and making time for my loved ones as well. A feeling of distraught came over me and I also felt torn that I couldn’t find time to be the type of friend I truly wanted to be. It’s not that I didn’t care about my relationships anymore. I just found myself not knowing how to balance getting my shit together and being a good friend simultaneously. We’ve all been there, honey.
My friends also knew I was coming out of a depression that had me slumped and broken for months, but deep down, I still felt horrible about not being able to mentally and physically be there for others who would cross oceans for me in a heartbeat. That’s when I knew a change needed to be made and applied to my life immediately…by me!
Instead of looking at my situations and setbacks in a negative way, I had to re-adjust my mindset to the positive thoughts of being super blessed to have amazing people in my life who help me get through life when I don’t have all the answers. I also had to remind myself that the people who love me also find me amazing… even when I don’t feel like I am.
The first step for me to stop being the distant friend was changing my perspective on the entire meaning of friendship. The emotions and connections that naturally flows with it.
The true meaning of friendship is when you consider the other person’s well-being to be as valuable as your own.”
Even when I don’t talk and see my close friends on a daily basis, I know they understand the sacrifices I have to make now to bloom later.
Although its important that I understand that my friends “get it”, its also important to know I don’t want to remain distant towards people who I’m aligned with and connected to for a mighty purpose.
Whew…Thank God I am surrounded by dope individuals whom I call friends who understand “the reward is worth the sacrifice” method (and sometimes, the sacrifices aren’t so fun for both parties involved). I also have to understand the same goes for them. We are all busy, and going through things no one knows about. Just like you, your friends have moments that weigh them down, and they are trying to figure out this thing called life… just like you.
True friends are never apart. Maybe in distance, but never in heart. Check on your friends as much as you can, including the strong ones who we sometimes forget are human just like us, even if they appear stronger to us. Make time for your relationships even if it means going to dinner together, or just talking over a cup of coffee. Communicate with honesty and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable in your relationships. When we find people in our life who feels like sunlight and their energy vibrates our energy higher, that’s the people you keep around, and the ones you can trust.
Despite what you’re going through, always remember there is a way to overcome everything. There is a way to balance and manifest everything you want to do. It might mean going through trials and errors to find out what effectively works for you, but the first step to finding out what works is the decision to take action over your life. In order to be a good friend to someone else, you have to be a good friend to yourself first.
In closing, I will leave you with the piece Flexibility, from the book titled Love in my Language by writer Alexandra Elle. It was a major gem for me on my perspective on the importance in flexibility throughout life & relationships. I hope it changes your meaning of friendship like it did for me. ❤
“Flexibility”, from the book Love in my Language by Alexandra Elle.
We are all a work in progress. No one really knows everything that their friends and family have been through, gone through, or are going through at this present moment. A lot of us have different defense mechanisms in attempts to protect our hearts and feelings. However, many times those defense moves can sabotage relationships. For me, I have trust issues that stem from a lot of different things.
My way of coping is to remove people from my space. I am protective of my sanity and feelings, but I also try to avoid conflict that can cause hatred and distaste. Taking a step back has kept me calm,cool, and collected for the most part .
Although shifting space is good for my sake, I rarely take into consideration how my abrupt distance could make someone else feel, despite the closeness of our relationship. Over the past few months, I have been doing a lot of reflecting. I was told by a very close friend of mine that, “You have to learn to be flexible or you will break. It’s not all or nothing every single time.” She was right.
It’s not always the other person more so than it is us and our baggage from past experiences. I have no reservations about the people that I truly trust in my heart.
When my heart is certain, it’s easy to be free and open with them about everything. However, I am learning that I do not hold everyone close to me in the same regard. With that being the case, I’ve had to figure out why I rather remove people from my life versus trying to work through rough patches. Is it me or them?
Sometimes we need to take a hard look in the mirror and make changes. Making strides to be better requires care and effort all across the board, not just in one area of life.
My greatest lesson in learning flexibility is this: you shouldn’t hold other people accountable for how someone else has treated you in the past. Cherish your relationships and build trust by communicating open and honestly. Don’t ruin great things because you’re stuck on how things were or are with other people in your life. Everyone is not the same or out to hurt you. ”
Until next time,