Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lately, my favorite words have been "it's not". Usually, this seems like an argument as to who knows better, but they've taken a new meaning for me. Mainly because of the awesome friendships I have. Some days I feel lonely and like I have nobody... selfish I know.. Especially since I know there are many people who love and care about me. But in the midst of this, I have grown so much more fond of the friendships I have. I'm constantly humbled by them.

So back into why I love the "it's not" phrase.

I don't know how many times I've felt so petty about letting certain things bother me. At least it feels petty. When I decide to be vulnerable and open up about something that hurt my feelings, it's hard. I don't like saying anything hurts my feelings. Maybe because I don't like the idea of being hurt, or looking like I've been hurt. So I tend to cover that up by saying it made me mad... or angry.. or pissed off.. or anything that will disguise the hurt.. And very rarely will I ever admit when something actually did hurt, or crush me. I mostly hated it because opening up meant that I would hear how everyone else gets hurt.. or how it could be worse.. or something to decrease me as an individual. I've learned not to approach others' hurt feelings with these suggestions. Mostly because it doesn't treat them as an individual who gets hurt..

So when I open up, I feel petty... or selfish.. or arrogant.. or like I have no right to feel the way I do. And that's why I say.. I say things like...

I know that's selfish..

I know that sounds arrogant

I know that's petty

And then there are those words, "it's not".

When I hear those, I feel like the friend I'm being vulnerable with is on my side.. they care about my feelings.. they care about what happened to me... and it matters to them. They are being the friend who listens to me, and who knows me, and understands that I was hurt. And it helps.

Maybe we should start putting those two words more into our vocabulary. If we care, we should let them know that their hurt feelings matter to us. Their pain moves us. Maybe we should start being that safe place for others to feel vulnerable because let's face it, we don't like to admit when we're hurt.

"It's not"

Those are the words that have created a safe place for me. May I do the same for others with these same words.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Why People Just Like You Can Be Dangerous

One of the wisest things I've ever done, was associated with people who are far more wise than I. Many times (more than I'd like to think about) this has been an amazing contribution to my relationships, my job, and my life. These things have been saved because of the loving yet sometimes harsh wisdom given to me by these friends. It's how I like it.

One of the most foolish things I've ever done, was rely on someone who was going through the same battle as me. This was me and my former best friend. When I was knee deep in self-injury, my best friend at the time was going through a different form of it. And we relied on each other to keep each other accountable.. Let's just say that only lasted so long. All it did was turn into a manipulative friendship full of lots of anger and resentment. We made a pact to not harm ourselves as long as the other didn't. But at that time, I still didn't understand that battles aren't something to just walk away from. That's why you struggle with it. You may have moments of weakness and fall, but when your accountability comes from someone struggling with the same things.... there are a couple things that could result from that..

1. Your friend will not give you the wisdom you need.. they will give you the words they want to hear.

2. Your friend will look at that as an enabler for themselves.

These things don't always happen, but in most of these situations I've seen, they have. There are always going to be people who don't understand what you're dealing with, and there are always going to be people who do. But if the people you are seeking wisdom from are not firm in a foundation, you really won't be getting the wisdom and accountability you need. Instead you get people who pour sugar over the wounds instead of helping to clean them.

This doesn't always pertain to just battles. If you only associate with people who are just like you, there is no room for growth. There is no room for new experiences. There really is no room for anything other than hearing the things you want to hear..

Most of my friends are completely opposite of me and I like that. Those friendships have turned into some of my greatest friendships. I'm constantly learning new things.. Things like gratefulness and appreciation. You really don't know how much you can be grateful or appreciate something or someone until you learn from it.

I'm not saying it's bad to have things in common... I'm just saying be careful. If you're not learning, you're not growing. And there is always room for that.

Monday, July 7, 2014

I'm definitely not one to like having uncomfortable talks. Especially when it's something I have to confess. Actually, I hate confessing a lot... I hate confessing how something made me feel, how I don't like something, and something that I've done. There is something about being vulnerable that we want to avoid.. I think it's because we believe people will eventually stop liking us. We are hard wired to believe everyone goes away in the end. Maybe that's why so many of us are desperate to be in relationships, not giving room for loneliness.

I was just thinking, this morning, about a conversation I needed to have. It's a confession on something I've done, but it hit me that I don't like it because of fear. I fear what the outcome is going to be even though it's not that serious of a situation. But it had me thinking the worst was going to be the end result anyway. Turns out, that's why I hate these things.

As much as I hate these kind of scenarios, there have been many times when I forced myself to do it. I don't want to be the type of person that will say about you what I can't say to you. At least I try to remain in this kind of character. Sometimes I still fail at that... like a couple months ago, when instead of telling my friend that I didn't like something she was doing, I told her I was done talking to her. And instead of explaining why when she asked, I ignored her. I know I know, good friend, right?
It was two days of this until I finally gave the long explanation as to why I didn't want to talk to her anymore, and she responded fairly and kindly...... and accepting of my wish. It did suck, but I felt I had to do it.

Sadly, I think this is how we handle a lot of situations like this. We tend to think that the best thing to do is shut out and cut off. The result is always the opposite of what we really want. Did I really want to cut my friend out? No, I didn't.... but it seemed the easier thing to do than to be honest and vulnerable with her. I didn't like how things she did made me feel, so I chose to stop being her friend. The whole thing could have been avoided if only I just talked to her. The sad thing is, I loved her enough to feel that safety.... and I rejected it.

This whole thing played out over a course of maybe four days altogether because it hit me that I was being extremely selfish. I wasn't respecting her enough to share what was bothering me, and if I hadn't brought up the situation, I had no right to cut her off. In turn, I ended up apologizing for my actions and words while listening to her thoughts as well.

And we forgave each other.

The beauty is that even though I handled the situation the way I shouldn't have, our friendship remained.... and the best part is, that thing that bothered me.. well, she loved me enough to respect that and do differently.

I think we tend to forget that sometimes the uncomfortable things push us into bigger and better. We miss out on so much because we're not willing to be uncomfortable at all. Then we never get to see how things work out in the end.

But as Tara-Leigh Cobble once said,

"You don't love something if you're not willing to be uncomfortable for it"

Well, she said something like that and it's true.