Relationships are everything. The relationship you have with yourself and the relationships you have with others either creates magnetism in your life, or drains you of it – empowers or disempowers you.
I was reading one of my oracle cards the other day that said, “Even Jesus picked 12 associates to help him accomplish his mission.” We can’t achieve our goals alone. My hope with this weeks share is that it will open you up to creating meaningful relationships, but also accepting, asking for and receiving support, and give up any belief that you have to go about this life alone.
Last year my intention was to surround myself with people who made me feel good. My best friend Jolene said, “I’m going to surround myself with people who make me feel like sunshine.” This year she said, “I’m going to be the sunshine.”
That is what this weeks share is about – redirecting your energy on those relationships who create magnetism in your life, instead of turning yourself into a pretzel trying to fit in with everyone.
Having a community of people who love you, support you, cheer for you, raise you up, that you can have meaningful conversations with, and never judge you, is magical.
But not everyone is going to be this person for you, or you for them. When I set the intention to really look at who I wanted in my life, the hardest part about that was having to accept that some people just weren’t my people, and do so without judgement. There wasn’t anything wrong with them, and there wasn’t anything wrong with me. It was just that our personalities didn’t align.
Just because you don’t click with everyone doesn’t mean something is wrong with them, or you. Once you really accept this without feeling unworthy, rejected, or judgmental of them, or yourself, you can align yourself with those who are your people.
Your first exercise, if you choose to accept, is some journalling. Begin by just taking a little friendship inventory.
Who is (or are) the people that you want to gather and have as a part of your community?
Who is (or are) the people that have been feeling like energy vampires?
Who is (or are) the people that are wonderful, but they are just not your people? It may feel like the friendship has run its course.
With the inventory done, let’s talk about unconditional love. We hear this often in romantic relationships, but not as often in relation to friendships. Unconditional doesn’t mean I love you only when you do something for me, or fit into this perfect little mold, or meet all my expectations. There is nothing unconditional about that. Unconditional really means, I love you. Period.
I made a new friend a couple of years ago and we really clicked. We started a weekly sisterhood group together so that we could talk about spirituality. It was something we both had in common, that we wanted to explore deeper. We quickly became friends and our love for each other continues to grow.
Past friendships with certain women had left me feeling a little distrustful and I wasn’t sure how honest I could be with her. But one night I had to cancel our weekly sisterhood evening. Not because anything else came up, it was simply because I was tired and wanted to stay home. I could have lied, I could have made up an excuse, but I didn’t want to. I knew deep down that if this relationship was going to thrive, honesty was necessary. So I was lovingly honest with her. “I am feeling really tired tonight, I’m going to stay home and rest.” I also expressed that our sisterhood evenings are really important to me, even on the days when I need to cancel.
I waited for the guilt, I waited for the disappointment, but it never came. Her response was absolute understanding. I even expressed how surprised I was and how great it felt to be so honest. And that is how we continue to be with one another today.
That is friendship. No judgement, just love. No judgement, just understanding that sometimes we need to say no and take care of ourselves and it has nothing to do with the other person. It is the kind of friendship that makes you feel supported and loved.
“A healthy relationship, whether it’s romantic, brotherly, or friendly, is when each person is allowed room to grow, unjudged, and still loved.”
– Mama Zara-
I’m sharing this story with you because whether it is in friendship, or romantic love, we have to follow our heart and connect with the people who are correct for us at that time.
I don’t have the energy to have any other type of people in life. I don’t have the energy to be around people who constantly judge me, pile on the guilt trip, or where I feel like I am walking on eggshells all the time, unable to have honest conversations. That isn’t supportive. That doesn’t make me, as Jolene says, feel like sunshine.
Another really important piece to this is that I give this same love right back to my friends. I’m not perfect, of course, but if it is something I want, I better damn be willing to give it right back.
We have to stop asking for things that we ourselves are not willing to give.
Friendship – LOVE – has no conditions. If there are conditions that are being put on you, or you are putting on others, you, or they may just not be your person.
Let’s take this back to our journal for a deeper reflection.
Where have you been putting conditions on your friendships? Explore why you have these conditions. It could be that you put them there to protect yourself, or that you are afraid of being abandoned and it is a way of controlling. Simply begin to explore this and start to lift the conditions while you build up your trust muscles.
Where have conditions been put on you? I’ll love you, and show you love, but only if you fit into this perfect little box I made for you. This is where you can begin to explore whether the friendship has run its course, or perhaps you want to have an open an honest conversation with the other person about how you feel and begin to strengthen your relationship.
Staying Open To Making Connections
I believe that many of us realized throughout these many lockdowns how important it is not to go through this life alone. When you have a strong connection, with even just one person, it has the power to strengthen your mental, emotional, attitudinal, even spiritual muscles. The more isolated we are, especially during difficult times; the worse we are going to feel emotionally, spiritually and mentally. This past year really shined a light on that.
We need to connect. We need to have conversations that matter. We need to feel like we are not alone. We need to feel loved and supported and also give love and support.
“The biggest crime is that we all do this alone and look down on people who don’t.”
– Amy Poehler –
Community and connection with those who support you, lift you, empower you, listen to you, celebrate with you, bring you joy, help you through difficult times, and are like minded, can be something that lifts you up like nothing else can. Like any pack, we are stronger together. However, if we don’t choose our community wisely, if we are only around negative, hateful, or judgemental people, if we don’t have healthy boundaries, those people can take us down.
My best friend Jolene walked up to me at a networking event and told me that she had to meet me. I had never experienced a woman be so direct with me before. We made a date to meet for drinks and get to know each other. We instantly hit it off and have been the best of friends since. We were inseparable when we lived in the same province together, but even though we are now 3500 KM apart, our friendship is still as strong.
To be honest, most of my girlfriends don’t live close to me. Some are plane rides away, and some are over an hours drive away. But even though we are apart by physical distance, our hearts are always connected. That is type of connection I wish for all of you.
Beginning today, stay open to others, even those you meet by chance. Join groups with like-minded people and if someone really attracts your attention, ask them to meet up or chat. When you are out of lockdown, if your area is still in a lockdown, suggest having lunch with someone who intrigued you. Strike up a conversation. Don’t worry about looking silly, or feeling uncomfortable that they may say no, just stay open to connecting.
I had this not too long ago. I’m in this online community and a woman asked if I would be willing to talk to her about my spiritual practices. We both had this in common and we talked for two hours. It was incredible!
If you are just building up your community and you don’t know where you are going to meet people, start with your interests.
– If you like cooking, get together with other people who like cooking.
– If you like dancing, go to dance classes and meet other people who also like dancing.
– What are those things you can talk about for hours without ever running out of things to say, or getting bored? Get together with other people who are similar.
One last thing I want to share with you. Don’t be the PERFECT friend. Be the RIGHT friend. The friends that are correct for you don’t care if you are perfect. They love you because you are you. And don’t forget to give other people the space to be perfectly imperfect as well.
So often we put a lot of our energy into strengthening friendships with people who are not correct for us, or who disempower us. There is something inside of us that just wants to prove to them that we are worthy.
These questions will help you to appreciate and strengthen the relationships with those who are empowering and correct for you. Sometimes we don’t realize where our energy is going until we explore it with a little inner work.
Who have been the most impactful friends in your life and why?
What are your favourite things about your current group of closest friends?
What does each of these friends bring to you?
The last questions is so important because we often feel like we have to get everything from one person, but because we are all unique, sometimes what one friends brings to the relationships and how it enhances your life, and you them, is unique to them.
These questions can help you to also gain clarity on the type of friendships you want to have and why. Now you will be able to choose people who empower you.
Empowered women empower other women