Sunday, February 17, 2013

Friendships and life.

There comes a time in our life when we start to realize what friendship really means.  There's a time when we think it's a numbers game.  It's all about having a lot of friends.  That's what we think is important.  We have to have a lot of friends to be considered "popular."  As we get older we start to realize it's not all about the numbers.  It's about true friendship.  Real relationships.  Real support.  Real commitment.

I've been blessed to call a lot of people my friend.  I like having lots of friends.  I like having a large circle of friends with all different types of personalities, likes/dislikes, and support.  Along the way I have also lost several friends.  At the time, I questioned why.  I wondered why.  I was hurt or disappointed.  Or learned they were really never a friend.  Sometimes we find out why.  Maybe a certain person was sent to be apart of our life for a certain period of time to help us, teach us something, or even help us learn what a friend is not.  But regardless, it's never easy to lose a "friend" when you thought you/they cared.

Recently I started to realized the life lesson about how it's not about numbers.  It's about quality.  It's about true feelings.  True support.  Actual caring, concern, love.  Friendship is a two way street.  I've done a lot of soul searching recently and discovered many things.

  1. Yes, I'm blessed to have a lot of people to call friends.
  2. There really is a difference between a friend and a "best" friend.
  3. If a friendship requires a "maintenance program", that friendship is not on a 2 way street.
  4. Repeated drama kills a friendship.  Especially when it's one sided.
Some of these things may seem pretty simple.  Common sense really.  Many people may read that and think, "well duh!  How old are you and what took you so long to figure that out."  Well, let me just say I am a people pleaser.  I know that.  I don't like drama and I don't like people competing for attention.  I like to keep peace and go with the flow.  However, I have found out, this is not always a good thing and people take advantage of you and your kindness most of the time.

So this is where I have learned, it's not a numbers game.  Let's be honest here, when I've looked at the many friendships and people I call friends, I'm going to go out there a say only 5 of them are truly my best friend.  Friends that I would stop anything and everything for and give them 100% of my focus when they need it.  So, wow!  Only 5.  That seems low to me but at this point in my life, I can say I am really happy with that.  

Over the past year of my life, I have made a lot of changes in my life.  I cleaned out a lot of drama filled people.  I've realized they sucked a lot of energy out of me and required a lot of my time.  I've started to really focus my time and energy on my family and my best friends that I know I can truly depend on.  I still have a lot of friends.  A lot of friends who mean a lot to me.  And I'm still willing to step up and support them but I've made a change in how I support some of these friends.  Sadly, I have cut a few people out completely.  It's been very hard to do that.  But I see the blessing in doing this and I have seen first hand, when one door closes, another door opens.

I firmly believe that saying good-bye to a few friendships has opened the door to new friendships.  It amazes me how I can sit back and learn from past friendships.  Do's and don'ts.  Lessons on what support, love, and concern is.  And how I do have control over how people treat me.  I don't have to put up with people treating me with disrespect.  Just within the last 3 months, I've met several new friends.  They are a great group of women.  So welcoming.  Warm.  Caring.  Fun.  I enjoy spending time with them and getting to know them.  I feel letting go of a few friendships has allowed me to be a better person.  A better friend, mom, wife, and listener.  

I will always be grateful for every friendship in my life.  Even friendships that I no longer have.  I will always care about those people and wish them nothing but the best in life.  Life is full of surprises and we never know when people may cross our path again.  People change.  Friendships can blossom again.  Just make sure it's not toxic to your life.

Have you evaluated the people in your life recently?  Do you have any toxic friendships?  Needy friends who always want but never are willing to give when you need someone or something.  What about the drama filled friend?  Are they draining you?  I highly recommend you take some time.  Do some deep soul searching.  No time frame on this.....whether it takes you 2 weeks, 2 months, or 2 years.  Do yourself a favor and rid your life of toxic friends.  It will hurt.  It probably won't be easy.  But when you feel that weight lifted and you feel free, it will be worth it.  Open your mind and free your soul.  Life is short.  It should not be spent babysitting grown adults who don't need a baby sitter.

Remember, stress ages us.  So I'll leave you with this, why should we age ourselves due to toxic friendships?  Do you really want to age faster and deal with potential stress related health concerns because we are too afraid of losing or hurting a "friend?"

Think about that..........           

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