The previous post was about friendship with an emphasis on developing ones inner man to become the type of friend you’d like to have. I discussed all the basic types of relationships, or friendships, that a person should have at any given point in their lives. There are certain underlying attitudes and behaviors that support the creation of healthy relationships. However, the truth is, even the best relationships are subject to factors beyond our control. I am going to call these things environmental factors. There are many environmental factors that affect relationships. Environmental factors can either strengthen or destroy a relationship. One thing is true though, the nature of change dictates that things can never stay exactly the same. However, people like for things to remain constant. Consistency offers us a false sense of security because, the reality is, change is inevitable.
To be completely open with you, reader, this topic is on my heart at the moment because I will be moving out-of-state soon. While I am moving closer to my family support system, I can’t help but reflect on my present friendships. Also, I have been thinking about my past friendships and what occurred when I moved to a different state. Environmental factors…that’s what happened! Most of my friends had gotten married or moved out of the city/state, I had lost my job, I was dating “Mr. Right Now” because I really didn’t want to deal with my feelings of loss and loneliness. And, you know that only added more drama to my life when I should have been working on getting myself together. When I left, I was running away from something that I was missing in my life and as I return home, I am walking towards something that I already have. I have been so concerned about other people’s feelings concerning my move that I neglected to pay attention to my own process of this impending change. Last night I cried. Although, I am certain that this is the best choice for me at this point in my life, there is still a level of grief at the thought of leaving my friends and the surroundings I have become accustomed to.
There are other environmental factors that change the dynamics of a relationship even if two friends reside in close proximity. Marriage, children, changing life philosophies, disrespect or distrust, sickness and tragedy are a few things that can pose major challenges in a friendship. When I moved out here, I never thought about how my life would affect others because I perceived that everyone had moved on with their lives and I was still stuck in the same-old thing. Boy, was I mistaken. In the coming years, some of my friends didn’t stay in touch nor did I want them to, with others our friendship was strengthened and some still, I discovered, although we don’t talk as much, when we do we jump right back into the closeness of friendship that we had previously. Stepping out on faith and embracing change is worth it though because you learn so much about yourself and those that you are connected with. I believe the one thing that has bound my best friends and I together for life is the fact that we discuss our feelings and honor each others feelings as it relates to the changes, we are committed to one another and we say that to each other often and last but not least, our actions match our words. Best friends are more like family than friends. I know this is corny and overused but, friends truly are the family we choose.
That’s it for me this month. Cherish your friends people and, as usual, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment or send me a note.