Over the years, I’ve used the term “friend” too loosely. I meet someone who has similar interests, seems to be a nice person and fun to hang out with, and immediately call them “friend” as if we’re young children hanging out on the playground by the monkey bars. I have had this child-like spirit when it comes to certain things in life. I give people the benefit of the doubt as I see the best in them, despite my inner voice urging me to notice the red flags. I ignore them, casting their imperfections off as just that, imperfections. Rather than seeing the reality and truth of who they are. I ignore character flaws, deceitful traits, and envious behaviors all in exchange for the loosely used term, “friend.”
What exactly does “friendship” mean though? Friendship has many important qualities and traits such as acceptance, loyalty, truth, integrity, love, respect, harmony, intimacy, authenticity, understanding, accountability, and support, to name a few. These are critical qualities and traits necessary to have a healthy and reciprocal friendship. However, due to my own flawed perceptions, I've been guilty of ignoring the lack thereof. I trusted people too soon and easily. I naively assumed others were like me: loyal, empathetic, kind-hearted and genuine. However, once the sting of betrayal consumed my inner being, I was once again reminded that the world is not always a very “friendly” place.
Some people are just who they are, opportunists, selfish, self-righteous, envious and have hidden motives. It’s hard for me to believe people like this truly exist until I come face-to-face with the real them. Once their mask comes off and I see who they truly are, I have no choice but to face the hardcore truth – not everyone is my “friend.”
I’m finally learning the value of setting boundaries and categorizing people to protect my heart, mental health, and energy. I’ve worked too hard for my healing and inner peace to have it contaminated by another broken soul. Boundaries allow me to protect myself while still being able to maintain my integrity and loving demeanor by being cordial, respectful and polite to people who just aren’t meant to be my friend. It also allows me to love certain family members from a distance. Categorizing others allows me to discern how to classify people in my life. The categories range from family, a friend, an associate/acquaintance, colleague, or business partner, etc. Sometimes you also simply outgrow people. Just because someone’s traits doesn’t land them in the “friend” category, doesn’t mean that I still can’t speak to them and have peaceful interactions. I don’t see the point in having enemies and being at war with others. It only generates bitter feelings which are counterproductive to being at peace and having joy. It also lowers one’s vibrational frequency. Love is my language.
Negativity and dysfunction are no longer my current reality. I broke up with those two pests several years ago when I realized they weren’t serving me well. The same rings true with certain people. As the cliché saying goes, people are in your life for a reason, season, or a lifetime. Being able to discern this is imperative.
As you grow and evolve into higher levels, people, places, and things inevitably change. Although the places and things part has always been an easier concept for me to grasp and accept; realizing that not everyone can travel along with me on this journey have not been so easy. Despite what others may do or say to me, whether if it’s throwing shade, some form of betrayal, or underneath it all they simply don’t like me and not courageous enough to say so, I managed to still care. The empathetic, ever so forgiving traits within me arise. There’s something sentimental about the people I let into my life and heart. So, letting go is not always easy. However, I’ve come to realize that it’s in the letting go where I experience relief and peace regarding those respective relationships. Because deep down, I know holding on is not healthy for me. I've learned there is no such thing as a wasted experience if I'm learning and applying what I've learned to my life.
Sometimes in life, you must do what is best for you and your wellbeing. As the late Maya Angelou said, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Stop second guessing your own intuition. It is there to serve as a guide along this journey called life. It is your inner-knowing. It is the voice of the Creator, telling you what your physical eye may be too blind to see. Don’t doubt it, trust it. Each time you ignore these inner nudges is a time you add another painful experience to your repertoire. Be unapologetic about who you are and your stance. You deserve your own love and protection. You deserve to be a friend to yourself too.
Love and Light,
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