I go back to that word again. I go back to the word “Friends” and think to myself, what is this?
What is a friend?
What is friendship?
What is the relationship between others and me?
Is this friendship?
Is everyone that says they’re a friend, really a friend, or is this just a contract, or is friendship nothing more than a social construct, or a notion based upon a semi-emotional agreement, or is it an idea, or better yet, is this just an invention between people?
At a young age, we learn that friends are not always friendly. They’re not always loyal either. Bad people do bad things and good people do bad things too. People make mistakes and so do friends.
Friends are not always what or who they say they are—but then again, a friend is really a personal definition.
I know what a friend is to me.
I know what my definitions are, and even if our definitions are the same, what I feel is what I feel and this is real to me. I have no idea what it feels like to live in another person’s skin or see things from their eyes.
I know what the word friend means to me. I also know my values and opinions are not and will not always be shared by others.
There is a
saying . . .
“Show me who your friends are and I will show you who you are.”
“You sleep with dogs; you wake up with fleas . . .”
“How you allow others to treat you says more about you than it does them.”
One day, I looked around at the company I kept. I sat around with my so-called friends and came to the conclusion that there was nothing genuine about this relationship. there was nothing genuine on my side or theirs.
I looked around at the people I stayed with and broke bread with. I thought about the “Give and take” relationships and wondered about the mutual benefit.
Do I give too much? Do I even take?
Have I ever taken, or have I always given just to keep the peace or keep the friendship and beat the ideas of loneliness? Do I keep it this way because of my fear of lonesomeness; therefore, I give, or better yet, is it more accurate to say that gave in exchange for sense of companionship in return?
Why not be honest about the way things work?
Truth is not all friends are meant to be friends. The truth is there are different levels of intimacy, which we share with one another.
There is intimacy in every exchange (even with hate) and keep in mind, every interaction between one another is a shared event.
Sometimes, however, we share too much or we share too much with the wrong people.
Sometimes, we have expectations.
Sometimes, our expectations fall short. Sometimes we learn others do not or did not feel or share the same sentiment.
And sometimes, we find ourselves with people and feel lonelier than we would if we were all by ourselves.
There are different kinds of friends
There are the best friends and the good friends. There are the mainly social friends and the transient friends that come and out and never stay very long.
There are old friends and true friends, in which, no matter if a day goes by, or two, or twenty years, any conversation seems as though you can pick up exactly where you left off—and that’s just fine.
In fact, that’s just amazing.
This is also as precious as the air we breathe or the food we eat. There are toxic friends and bad friends and disloyal friends.
There are the “Stab you in the back friends,” and the friends that trip you so they can help you up after you’ve fallen down.
There are friends that point at the cracks in your story and the faults of your flaws just so they can feel better about their own.
But then . . .
There are the friends that somehow, miraculously find you at the right time and the right places. There are the friends that remind you of your value and there are friends that remind you that you are worth more.
There is a lesson to be learned from anyone you meet. Sometimes, the lesson is as simple as “Stay away from people like this,” and sometimes, the lesson is to never invest time with people like this again.
And to this I’ve said, Amen . . .
There are fair weathered friends and there are social parasites. There are friends that put you down so that you will never stand taller or feel better than they do.
There is a dynamic in every relationship. In some cases, the dynamic is one breathes out so another can breathe in. In other cases, there is a sense of one-sidedness, in which, one takes but never cares to replenish.
Expectation is the real killer here.
Expectation is the killer because we expect people to be who or how they appear to be. We expect them to be what we want or need, and we hope they are—but sometimes how they are is just an act—and sometimes, a smile is just a smile—and other times a smile can be a sign of someone’s agenda.
There are friends that have your best interest at heart and then, of course, there are friends that have their best interest at heart.
I once wrote to you and explained that a broken soul can only take care of its own.
I once told you that the eyes are the windows of the soul—and a broken soul looks through the easiest windows, almost like a predator, like a scavenger, like an invasive species, and comes in to devour the resources, devour the energy, absorb all the wealth and value, and then when all is broken and destroyed down to nothing, the broken soul moves on without looking back or caring about the aftermath or the carnage left behind in their wake.
I once told you beware of the broken souls.
truth is I used to be this person.
Admittedly, I had no other way to live nor did I have any understanding of how I was living.
My friendships were one-sided. I was one-sided because I was afraid. I was burned. I was hurt at one point and sick with this thing called depression—I was so self-absorbed and drowned in my own self-doubt that I swore I would never suffer or feel the sting of rejection again.
I did what I did because of me.
Whatever I did to anyone had nothing to do with them.
At least, not exactly.
But truth be told:
I was that one.
I was that broken soul
I was him because I was broken myself, misguided, misunderstood, misinformed and misled by my own misconceptions.
The problem with being an empath or being empathetic is feeling. I feel too much sometimes. I feel so much—and this can be difficult.
I used to hate to feel. I used to hate to think. I used to hate the connections between me and you or me and anyone else because the fears of rejection were too sharp and too painful.
I was afraid of being used or misused. I was afraid of being a joke or being publicly humiliated and exposed. I hated these fears. there were like demons on my shoulder, always whispering, always paranoid, and always pushing my back to the wall, reminding me, you better protect yourself now, or else.
I used to depend so much on others and outcomes and people, places, or things that I never learned how to depend upon me or my efforts or the production which comes from my own value.
I had to learn how to (and how not to) lend my time to people.
I had to learn that if I am truly going to be deserving then I have to spend time with people that truly deserve me.
I said to myself, “Do not give yourself away so easily.”
But sometimes you give and you give and nothing comes back.
Then again, if you give and expect something to come back; truth is you weren’t giving anything to begin with. Truth is this was a trade—and if you’re unhappy it’s because the trade you negotiated was unworthy of your time.
One day, I decided to stand up and push myself away from toxic people, places, and things. When I walked away, I walked away without looking back. And you can’t look back.
Don’t ever look back because looking back becomes a mind-fuck.
I believe in a constant evaluation of life. I believe in the need for personal inventory and the importance of personal stock, what to keep and what to let go of.
Sometimes, we need to re-evaluate our position.
Sometimes, I need to make a change.
I need to make a switch.
Sometimes, when I feel old feelings or think old thoughts, I need to look at why because rather than allow thoughts or old feelings to draw me back into being a broken soul (or the parasite I used to be,) I choose to re-evaluate me and consider my position. I choose to see where I stand and why I’m feeling old inaccurate feelings or wasting my time investing in relationships that come up short.
From this point going forward, I don’t ever want to come up short for the rest of my life.