Have you ever tried cold-pressed juice? It’s amazing. Try it with fruit, or veggies you personally like, even if it’s strawberry banana. But TRY IT. It will change your life. I don’t buy cold-pressed juice often, but when I do, my entire body feels the effect. I mean, I like it so much, that I applied it to my friendships. People and relationships take up a lot of time, and some money, so I figured going forward, all friendships consume shall be cold-pressed and concentrated. I want the next 25 years of my life to reflect friendships birthed from the intentional community with others. After losing my closest friend, and realizing my only other bestie lives across the pond, I knew I needed to change something about myself first.
It’s easy to say to someone, “Your life is a reflection of your choices,” or simply dish all about how you’re tired of seeing them make the same mistakes; or that ” the consequences of your choices is what got you here”; or to even say you don’t feel bad for someone because of how they choose to live their life. It’s easy to know the solution to a problem you’ve never been thru.
But, take heart.
Has anyone ever uttered these words to you??
I have been on the receiving end. Especially when a childhood friend that I’ve grown up with for over 15 years and she broke up with me via text message during one of my most difficult seasons. At the same time, nothing falls on her nor will I even give her any praise. She did nothing more than to confirm and affirm the truth that’s been following me since we were kids. Oh, how I hate being so stubborn some days. I had ex-boyfriends and friends all tell me the same thing and I’ve simply ignored, or choose to see something that was never there because loyalty can be that blinding. God knew exactly what I needed to get rid of in order to see my life flourish within His will. But I promise you, I thought I felt alone before, but on that day in 2015, I never felt more worthless. I knew the enemy was destroying a friendship I cared for since I was in the 5th grade. And forgiven over and over again. But now, in the sovereign of adulthood, habits, and patterns only changed when it benefited her directly and on her timing. To be called terms like, insincere, ingenuine, and a bad friend, unsupportive and simply envious, were not only laughable, but I knew each word was a lie because as I reflected on all the memories, everything was clear:
I did the best I could.
It was on that day that I grew past my comfort zone. It was on that day that I learned about Jesus’s depth of love and comfort and friendship more than ever (and I was only a baby to Christianity at that point, and probably still am if I can be completely blunt about it.) The love doesn’t just decrease and desist at any instant with any relationship. It doesn’t go away simply because you cannot see each other every day. But rather grace, mercy, hope and relentless self-love reminded me that Jesus, by way of the Holy Spirit, the great comforter, would restore all of my broken relationships and everything that I’ve done wrong, will be corrected.
I didn’t want to feel triggered again. I didn’t want to be told that I wasn’t a good friend because I have so much baggage and drama. I didn’t want to tolerate biased moral judgment or advice when I was simply asking for time to be heard.
That fallout happened with my oldest friend, and at the moment the only friend I could truly say was there for me thru that point in my life. Sure, the relationship had already been broken, but that’s my point. I held onto this broken relationship because it crippled me, and made me feel good; meanwhile, my personality, my reputation, and God know what else, was being talked about negatively just before I entered a room. But none of that falls on the other person. Maybe it falls on their parents, but my lack of confidence–that falls on me.
Cultivating healthy and emotionally balanced relationships propel me. I’ve learned now, at the tender age of 28, that a lot of people I called friends weren’t calling their friend. We couldn’t sustain longevity because they genuinely didn’t get to know me. I mean how could we, right? “We were just kids.” I’ve learned that friendships don’t hold weight to sling against each other, but rather bounce off the boundaries and elevate together. If you want someone around you will do all you can to make sure they feel comfortable around you. Friends that propel you not only empower, encourage and gas you up but they provide a fundamental structure for success because it’s part of their character. They themselves uphold healthy relationships within close circles, like family and co-workers. Friendships with people who don’t understand or are not educated any mental illness turn into some ego-empowered behavior that doesn’t suit anyone.
No matter which illness you suffer with, everyone should be able to see you for who you are and remove seeing what the illness does to you. It’s a hard thing to see when you don’t try to be intentional about making memories or to learn how to navigate the hardships of BOTH parties together. Friendship exhaustion is real, but dismissing your friends every time you get into a new romantic relationship that always seems to be “the one,” then maybe it isn’t “me,” it may just be you. #HealSoon.
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