It took me a long time to understand what it meant to develop a true friendship. I have been blessed over the years to have met some amazing people I can call friends. We may not speak all the time and there may be thousands of miles between us but we are all there if we need each other, and those friendships are great to have.
The connections I’ve experienced over the last 4 years challenged my perception of a friendship, they are deeper and more personal. These connections don’t feel the need to fix it all, but instead listen with understanding. They share in each others dreams and failures, they ask how you are and call just because you crossed their mind. They say thank you for being there on no special occasion, and they feel safe in asking to not speak on a subject anymore. They don’t ever feel they walk on eggshells and share in a comfort they can express anything with you. But the biggest gift that they offer is the ability to be in conversation about anything, even when it’s uncomfortable. The understanding that life and relationships aren’t perfect and we are all on this journey to learn and grow.
The other thing I’ve noticed that is different with these true connections is doing what you say and say what you mean with honesty and care, also being on time and keeping commitments. Something that I didn’t realize was key on determining if the commitment of friendship was equal on both sides. I remember being late and not calling my friend Di in Australia, now I knew before leaving I was going to be late and I didn’t pick up the phone to give a heads up. I travelled the entire time with a racing heart because I felt rushed and hate being late, but I still didn’t pick up the phone to say there was an issue. Later, Di expressed her feelings and made a request and it was simple, If i say I’m going to be somewhere at a certain time then she expects me to and if I can’t then she would like a call. And I love that she felt comfortable enough to say this the first time around, it just reminded me of what I also expected from people I wanted to spend time with. Simple, but these conversations are so hard to have with people that continue to cross a boundaries, one that clearly says a commitment to you is not at the top of my priority list.
Something about your energy changes when you sit and wait for someone who doesn’t value your time, for me my thoughts immediately go to not wanting anyone else to feel unimportant. We all have to value the other persons time, but most importantly value our own.
I learned to love myself during my journey. What I’m finding out now is I need to value myself worthy of all things in all areas of my life, a lesson I’ve been learning consistently over the last few years. It’s ok to have opinions, concerns, requests, needs at any time.
The reason I bring up these topics is because I am learning everyday which of my past behaviors need to change, I’m learning what I deserve to receive and have to respect that the other person in the relationship of friendship deserves the same, whether they think they do or not. I also learned that not everyone can show up this way, including myself, because we’re humans and we have our own stuff to work through.
Now shit happens and I can make some huge mistakes, and thats where the being able to be in conversation comes in and is key in a true connection. We can’t learn anything truly unless we first fuck it up, at least thats my opinion on a lot of things. And later after a conversation with one of these friendships I treasure I may get enlightened even more, and that opinion may change.
The fact is, we are able to think and do as we please, our choices are our own and so are those of the other person. If someone came to me and said “Jamie, I’ve decided a friendship with you is not something I would like to continue” then I would have to except that. I can understand that they have a strong reason for their own well being to make that decision. And I’ve had that happen, and I get to do the same. Nobody needs a long drawn out reason to decide something like this.
This kind of connection for a lot of people are scary, and most people are more than willing to just be on the receiving end because being vulnerable in return is not comfortable. But true connection only happens when both are equals, both are vulnerable, both are willing to lay their shit out on the table and have someone they trust empathetically listen. But I have to say that we all need help from someone skilled, like a teacher or therapist, etc. to show us how to do this in a safe way with safe people.
Now I am beyond blessed to have a handful of these relationships and I cherish them.
Accelerate your growth by developing true and meaningful connections.
My emotional growth accelerated a lot over the last 2 years, where I learned about trauma and connections, read some books on it, asked questions and pushed through many, many uncomfortable feelings.
Now for the truth with me. I have always believed I was open and giving, I was definitely comfortable being that friend that listened with empathy, and never really wanted to burden anyone else with my problems. That caused great problems for me later on, because when I was ready to share I found that I surrounded myself with only takers, ones that didn’t want to hear my opinion and certainly couldn’t understand my past trauma or how it was affecting me later in life.
As I continued on my journey I learned a great deal from one relationship in particular. This one taught me what it really meant to just listen, It took months to reprogram my brain to not say “it’s all going to be ok” but instead say “I’m sorry you are experiencing this” or to not say anything at all, and just truly listen. The other lessons came through sharing our experiences, acknowledging good and bad days. Growing on our separate journeys together.
Besides developing true and meaningful connections with others, I was able to truly develop one with myself over the last 2 years. My journey in Bali allowed me the space and time to heal physically, mentally, emotionally and in business. I’m happy to now journey back to the States to build on my business and develop more healthy connections.
I just want to say thank you to all my true connections that have been a part of my journey and have allowed me to be a part of yours.
Mucho Love, Jamie