Posts Tagged ‘acceptance’

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On Being a Friend

November 7, 2008

I used to think that friendships meant unconditional love and acceptance. And maybe they should mean that…in an ideal world and an ideal situation. The reality is that we are all different and, being imperfect humans, do allow things to effect us and how we relate to others.

Over the years, I learned that friendships can wane and grow in strength. Our availability to one another can change. Our outlooks on life can change. There can be physical distance that comes between us. All kinds of things can impact friendships.

The kinds of friendships I most value are the ones where I don’t feel like I have to hide. Those can also be some of the hardest, too. When I am around people who are real and who I know are safe…well, when I AM trying to hide, it is hard. They really care and I can find it difficult to not allow my heart to show.

You may wonder why I would want to hide my heart from such friends. Well, it is not so much that I want to hide, but sometimes I may be around someone else that I feel I must hide from. So, I become torn when in the presence of someone I feel kinship with while also in the presence of someone that I am not as close to.

Sometimes, too, I just don’t want them to be concerned about me at that moment in time. Maybe they have enough challenges of their own going on. I want to be supportive rather than supported. I want to give and build up rather than drain.

I have had friends come and go, for a variety of reasons. They have all been gifts for a time. Some of them are still gifts, while some are just temporarily “in the next room”.

How wonderful it is to meet someone and feel a sense of instant kinship…a sense of closeness as if I had known the person for a long time. How wonderful it also is to be able to reconnect with a friend and find that it truly is as if they had only been in the next room for awhile. We come together again and it feels as if we never parted. We settle into a comfortable routine of give and take together as if slipping our feet into a comfortable pair of shoes.

Friends…true friends…are a very special gift indeed! It is a beautiful thing to have those with whom I can truly trust my heart.

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Healing and Emotional Detachment

August 30, 2008

Hmm…not really sure how to say this. I am realizing that I need to have a healthy emotional detachment from others. I notice this the most with the one person I am closest to, but it applies to others, too. I tend to feel guilty at times about how others are effected by my issues. It is OK to feel sad about it…but it is not OK to feel bad about myself because of it. Feeling bad about myself helps me to spiral downward. Feeling sad does not.

I can feel sad that my brokenness effects others without feeling badly about myself. There is only so much I can do. If I cannot do, or be, what someone else needs me to do, or be, that does not make me a bad person…even if they have every “right” to want me do it. I don’t need to beat myself up, or be miserable, just because someone else is miserable or unhappy about how my issues effect them. I can be empathetic. I can care. I can do my best to work on my healing; but I do not have to push heaven and hell to try to change something that I have no control over. That just sets me up for failure and I start to crash.

If someone is struggling with something about me that I have no control over I need to let them face that and work out how to deal with it. Yes, I do need to keep working on my healing…and, hopefully, I will be changed in that process. But the results are not up to me. Neither is how someone else handles those results. That is something that person has to work out.

I can do the footwork, but Yahweh God has to do the healing. He has to change me. I cannot force change. I can change my behavior…to a certain extent. However, I cannot change my triggers. Shoot, a lot of the time I am still trying to figure what the triggers precisely are and why they even trigger me! I can work on those things, but I cannot force myself to not be triggered.

Another thing I struggle with is that, acceptance of myself as I am right where I am at, can look like I am giving up to someone else. It can appear that I don’t care and am not really “working” on something anymore. That is not the case, though. To me, acceptance of where I am at simply means trusting that God will do what is needed without my having to be constantly striving and then feeling awful because, in spite of all my hard work and striving, I am still being triggered…or still failing. It means that I can continue to do what I can and trust Him for the results.

Sometimes, if it is someone really close to me, I find that the other person’s struggle with me and resulting unhappiness causes me to feel bad about myself. The feelings of worthlessness start to kick in, along with thoughts of them being better off without me. I start to spiral downward and that is not good. I am realizing that my feeling that way means that I am sort of taking responsibility for how they feel. It is harder to see it that way because it happens in such a roundabout way. Nonetheless, it is real…and it is not healthy…for them or me.

There is nothing like feeling helpless to start a round of depression. It works so well. I need to be on guard for that and practice taking good care of myself. It is my responsibility to take good care of my emotional and mental health, just as it is for me to take good care of my physical health.

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