My mother then told me “if you obtain a handful of good friends over you’re lifetime; you are blessed.” When I was 12, that didn’t mean a thing to me, however as I sit today at 47 yrs. old it means the world to me and so do my handful of friends.
I have always tried to take my personal inventory in relationships and in the world at large. Not saying this always happens or I am always perfect or right but then I always have some loving friends that ask me “what’s your part in it?”
When people don’t act the way I think they are supposed too; is when the problem always starts. The one thing I have learned about myself is that I am a caretaker and I seem to give more then I get back. The thing with caretaking is that ultimately it brews resentment. Especially in times that I lose my voice. Not literally lose my voice but get to the point of not saying what’s really going on inside. Covering it up, masking it because I want to be liked and that committee full of pity inside my head tells me that I am not worthy and I better just shut up and take it. This is by having limited, or no boundaries with that person.
Ok, so I know the problem then what is the solution? Have no expectations on people. When I start to place expectations on people is when disappointment and resentment and hurt come into play. When I place my expectations on man, he will undoubtedly fail. I can only control my actions, thoughts, and feelings. I cannot change the way other people act, feel or think. I have to stand true to self. No matter what; I tell that “committee of pity” – that I am worth it and I am loved and valued. If that one person holds a grudge because of me saying my truth then truly he was no friend at all.
My friends that I have today, I know without a doubt in my heart that they will go that extra mile for me. My mother’s words ring true.
I know that in order to have a friend I need to be a friend. Going the distance; listening, sharing, caring about the other person’s feelings but not care-taking them and putting my own needs aside to fulfill theirs. That makes for a one-sided unhealthy relationship. Give and take is always a requirement with healthy boundaries in place.
CS Lewis said it best and many of my long-term friendships started out this way…..
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”