marching forward

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Well facebook free March has turned out pretty well. I haven’t missed it. I wasn’t really concerned that I would, it was just one of those little exercises I decided on a whim. Two weeks into it I realize that I rarely speak to anyone! I have been in touch with 5 friends, and honestly that’s more or less what I expected. Facebook is little more than a time suck masquerading as ‘keeping in touch’. With the exception of retrieving an address that is sitting in my inbox I don’t have a need to go back to full facebook use come April.

One topic that keeps coming up lately, and I’m sorry to harp on about it, is friendship and I suppose to be specific, changing friendships. Some time back I had a falling out with a life long friend. I didn’t think it would be serious, and I didn’t think it would be permanent, but I have been grappling with the reality that it may just be something that was a long time coming. I have come to the conclusion that most people in your life don’t really want you to change and change is one of those things that’s necessary for growth. They don’t want you to change because they want you to be safe, and sometimes the familiar is the easiest way to stay that way. So in essence, you should remain the same. (Boring!) I read about this in Do the Work, it’s a form of resistance.  It really is a concept that has stuck with me and one that has changed my views about situations and people. People get used to patterns of behavior, when you change those patterns they don’t know what to do anymore, they think something is wrong and usually they think something is wrong with you. I used to chase people, seek their time, their attention and I’d be more than a little crushed or slighted whenever I felt forgotten or disregarded. It took a lot of soul searching to realize and accept that people make time for what is important to them. And, to top it off, no amount of effort on my part was going to change their priorities. The truth frankly, was that I hadn’t been prioritizing myself! I suppose because for a long time I just felt really beat up by the fact that I didn’t really feel I belonged anywhere. I ached to belong! I think once I realized that there was nothing wrong with me it made things better. You would be surprised at how many close friends found it rather incredulous to hear me say, there is nothing wrong with me. How many years had I lived under this misguided concept that I was somehow flawed because I didn’t subscribe to certain ideologies, and that if only I could blend in a little that I might actually feel like I belonged. And how long had I been surrounding myself with people who, under the guise of close friendship, continued to only see my potential and not the person I was?

I know I’m just thinking of all these things because I find myself evaluating some of my longest and dearest friendships, and witnessing them change. Some will drift away, some will hold on from a safe distance and others will stay steadfast and true no matter how uncertain life can be. I just can’t spend any more time looking back at how things used to be. I have too many things to look forward to right now. I have too much joy in my life to share it with people who want to second guess it.

In my mind, if you’re my friend, you will always be my friend. How close we are will depend on how willing we are to be vulnerable, to be wrong, and foremost how willing we are to accept each other just as we are.

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