I truly believe that people come into your life when you need them, and our instincts tell us when it is time to let them go. But then there are other friendships that last forever.
You meet someone and after many weeks, months, and years, you realize how important to your life and how glad you are that they are in the world, even if you don’t get to see or talk to them everyday. Your friendship has been worked on, tended to, and encouraged because it is a beautiful thing.
Then there are the friendships that blossom overnight. The people who come into your life and have become an instant friend because the stars align, your anxiety is quiet, and an acquaintance becomes a best friend in a day. I don’t believe in love at first sight, but I definitely believe in best friends at first sight.
Let us not forget the friends who have been in our lives for decades. Friends that are beautiful, intelligent, dynamic creatures, who, though you have known them for years, surprise you and your friendship is strengthened with every visit.
These are the friends who walked into your life, and never left.
Of course the bittersweet friendships are the ones that fell apart and came back together after years. These are the friends that knew you while growing up, but some circumstance caused a rift. Your life felt bereft of their friendship, but you thought it was just a part of growing up, and you moved on. But then, someone changed and the friendship came back. It’s stronger now, because you are adults, or the catalyst for the change is gone, but with it is the sadness that you missed out on some years together.
But let’s not forget the other friendships. The ones who were important to our lives for a time, but we had to let go of. The friendships that became too much for some reason. These are important too, because they showed us how we should be treated. They show us how to appreciate the other solid, more fulfilling relationships. They teach us how not to behave if we are to keep these beautiful friendships alive.
They are important in their capacity to learn the balance between opening our hearts to someone and opening our souls. They teach us how to walk that tightrope of being there for a friend when they need you, and being walked on. These are the friends that help us learn to balance between our want to help others, and our need to help ourselves.
But the most important friendship is the one we have with ourselves. Why do we allow ourselves to have these intrusive thoughts of being “not smart” or “not good enough” or “not worthy”? We would never be ok with our best friend saying that about themselves, so why are we okay with doing it to ourselves? And it’s not that our best friends are perfect! We know their flaws and their struggles, but we can also see the great things about them that they are too blind to see. Why can’t we do this for ourselves?
We need to nourish our friendship with ourself by taking the time to realize we are not perfect, and no one is expecting us to be. We are strong, smart, capable people who can do anything, but don’t need to do everything. We need to schedule time alone with the same vigor and intention that we schedule time with others. Embrace our time doing what we love without answering to someone else. Without worrying whether or not someone else likes what you are doing or saying.
Do YOU like it? Or better still, do you like YOU?
Because really, you should.