02 Oct I’ve decided to be a ‘bad friend’
Am I a good friend?
I’ve been obsessed with this question for years. All I have ever wanted was to make sure that my friends were happy, that I was being a good person to them. To the point of overgiving, over functioning and overextending myself.
In all of the years of trying my hardest to be a good friend, I never asked once asked myself, “Are my friends good to me? Am I satisfied with the quality of the relationships in my life?”
I decided to ask myself this question and everything got real. Too real.
I came to the realization that the majority of my time and energy was poured into determining whether people thought I was a good person, if I had enough friends. The realization, that I did all this, in order to shed what I now know, to be my loneliness.
I have now come to understand that it is OK to feel lonely. Truly strange for a self-proclaimed ‘do-it-by-yourself’ woman, trapped by the busyness of life, to just sit with herself, by herself.
The need to belong is a universal human need. It is a need that I have struggled with my entire life. I have never truly felt like I belonged to my society. I have always felt……misunderstood.
Loneliness can be agonizing. Sitting in solitude, alone with your shadow thoughts, facing yourself can be unsettling. Loneliness can cause us to subconsciously make decisions that serve only as a quick remedy: partying, liming, working, being in disingenuous relationships which do not serve our highest good.
I used to think that I was good with solitude because I spent a lot of time doing activities by myself. I would tell myself that I’m not a pack rat, that I have the self-motivation to do activities on my own. So I would tell myself that I was good, comfortable even, with solitude.
But as it turns out. I was wrong.
So yes, while I can go to the movies or dinner by myself and I am self-motivated to exercise on my own, I filled my life with the busyness of work, activities, TV, internet, phone and spending time with friends.
There was never really any time where I was just being in my space, by myself, spending this time to know, to understand myself – my thoughts, my fears, my demons, my joys.
I was sprinting away from myself.
But, how do you deal with loneliness, especially when you are not surrounded by family or friends?
We need to remember that the desire for meaningful connection can get us into all sorts of trouble. We need to remember that If loneliness is driving our decisions, we might jump impulsively into a high-risk sexual encounter or a soon-to-be-regretted relationship/friendship. An urgent need to connect might also push us to reopen a friendship or romantic bond that really wasn’t that great for either of us.
We can incur more subtle costs as well, such as not allowing ourselves to grieve major losses, to forgive those who have hurt us, or to learn more about ourselves. There’s no time or emotional space for any of this, because we’re too busy trying to smooth things over with new connections while we have not healed our old wounds.
With 3 months left in 2018 to go – I am ready for solitude as it presents itself. I am ready to have the discipline to prioritize my healing. I am ready to face the vulnerability of longing head on. I am ready to deepen my spiritual connection and fill up my “God-hole.”
Here’s to the journey to self-awareness.