Friend-shifts!

To build lasting friendships, I’m learning how to endure friend-shifts!

I made this statement on Facebook on November 30, 2015 and several people responded, asking me to expound on the thought. Here are a few of my thoughts on enduring Friend-shifts.

FRIENDS! How many of us have them?! Regardless of how many of us have friends – or how many friends we have, I think it’s decidedly tougher to keep good friends than it is to make good friends. Why? Because friends change, and we change! Life changes us and therefore changes our friendships and relationships. I was thinking about the concept of friendship and its practical application and that’s when the term “friend-shift” came to me. I think if we want to have a successful friendship, we have to understand the changing seasons of friendship, the friend-shifts that life brings us.

Navigating friend-shifts means:

1. “I’m not who I was…and neither are you.” Allowing space for the growth/evolution of all parties involved even when the growth changes the “texture” of the relationship. Who we are to each other (and who we need each other to be!) today may not be who we were to each other yesterday.

2. Just because you wear your swimsuit in December doesn’t mean it’s summertime in Moscow. Accepting the season the friendship is in, even if this new season means the friendship is no more.

3. Purpose is Paramount. Knowing that personal purpose trumps seasonal relationships – sometimes if you want to grow you have to let go! Anything that stops you from being the person you are placed on earth to be must be addressed – and often removed! (Sometimes/Often that “person” is our own misguided, self-destructive way of thinking and therefore living!)

4. Say “goodbye” if you want to say “hello.” Knowing that life has a way of bringing valuable and more salient relationships into our lives – often only as we, or after we accept the transitions of current/passed ones.

5. Time after time. Also recognize that needed time apart may allow for the re-fostering of that same friendship in a matured, healthy state later on, once maturity has had beneficial effects on everyone involved! Time and space are aids to healing and growth.

6. Patience! Be careful not to discard someone because they’re not everything you hoped they’d be.

7. Caution! A friendship with someone’s selfie can be harmful. They often project who they wish they were…if you notice too much disparity between the real and the gram >>> distance, reevaluation, and perhaps relocation/reclassification is necessary.

8. Mirror, Mirror. Relationships are sent to sharpen us, show us a mirror of where and who we are, give us clues to where we are headed, as well as remind us where we’ve been. As people who are married tend to begin to look alike (so it’s said, lol) – they also say owners and dogs can often look alike – we subconsciously choose people who mirror where we are or where we want to be; also we adapt and meld into each other – behaviorally, emotionally, and even fashionably speaking. Choose a friend with that in mind. The circle has to be mutually beneficial – full of both blessings and lessons.

9. Back to Me. And above all – life if filled with much pain because pain is often the alert and catalyst for change. Friendships should be JOYOUS. If it’s a drudgery – reevaluate. And don’t always assume the other person must change – sometimes WE must accept the fact that we need to mature in some areas in order to maintain healthy relationships.

10. Let me love you. A friend will help you shift – only if you (and your ego) let them : )

What about your friends?!

So Long, Old Friend

For the first time in my entire adult life, just a moment ago, I felt thankful for an experience with someone who I thought ruined my life (with my help). After feeling manipulated, threatened, and left emotionally bankrupt, it took me years to get passed the fallout of the situation (one that led to another and one after another)..over a decade to not feel the sting of certain memories, and for the first time that I can remember, I feel thankful for the presence they all brought to my life – not because it was pleasurable – but because I learned that while pleasure can sustain you for a time, only it, only pain can help you grow.I’ve never heard of growing pleasure, only growing pains.

The feeling that the floor has fallen out from under you while the roof is caving in is unmistakeable. It is helpless and hopeless. And when you are left without the comforts and confines of life as you know it, you are forced to use just one thing: the personal inner strength and fortitude required for survival. And once you learn how to survive; when you learn that life is one big ball of a comedy of errors somehow divinely used to better the world around you, you can begin to make something magical and auspicious of the life you’ve been given.

I’ve learned to thrive off of my own steam, my own fuel. Not everyone will ever see my personal vision or dream. They were never meant to – lest they say I owe it all to them. I know that now, and am learning so more and more with each passing day.

I would not have learned that, had I not been left to see what I was really made of when my only remaining, constant friend was my pain.

I’ll never forget what you taught me, dear friend, pain, and you and your cousins may no doubt make visits to my house from time to time. And don’t worry, though our lasting friendship is certainly now come to a close, know that I’m finally thankful for your presence in my life. You taught me well. You prepared me for a life full of pleasure. Thank you.

NO LABEL REQUIRED

Many relationships fail because when we enter into any kind of relationship or partnership, we see the aspect of the individual that we desire to unite with. When we marry someone, though me are marrying our wife or husband, they are not simply, a wife or a husband. They may also be an athlete, CEO, teacher, father, friend and son or daughter.