Having an honest friend – one before whom you can dump all your heart’s pockets and still feel that you are worth something – is a form of wealth that will buy you nothing but will give you everything. And mysteriously and rightly, to find such a friend, we must be such a friend.” From the Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo.
What kinds of people do you have in your life?
Ones who inspire and motivate you? Ones who have seen your darkest and brightest sides and still believe the best in you? Ones who encourage you to own your s*** so that you can grow and develop and live the best life possible? Ones who encourage reflection, and remind you that to be human is to be perfectly flawed? These types of people challenge us and push us. Maintaining these types of relationships may sometimes be difficult because they require reflection, honesty and acceptance, first of ourselves.
Or do you have people in your life who encourage you to be mediocre through their own mediocrity? Who make you feel flat and dull? Who bring out your and their negativity and together you dwell in this dark place? Ones who encourage you when it suits them and not because it’s really the best thing for you? Having these kinds of people in your life may feel easier. It may feel comforting, especially when you’re not in a good place yourself it may feel like it’s all your deserve because well…who are you to think you’re any better, right?
But we forget that it’s not about what we deserve and what we do not. It’s about learning to appreciate the people who truly do care about us; who fully support us and who only want the best for us because they’re in our lives to help us learn to love and accept ourselves. And then it’s also about learning the lessons from those relationships that do not bring out the best in us so we can fully accept our shadows that form part of us; and once we have done this, those relationships have served their purpose. Because we all have different sides to ourselves; what we decide on is which side do we give preference to.
We question who is in our lives and not why they’re in our lives. When it should be the other way around. Because once we’ve unpacked the why, we can make a more informed decision on the who. Maybe that negative person entered your life to show you your own negativity and to allow you the opportunity to accept your shadows. Or maybe that person who is only encouraging when it suits them is in your life to show you your own selfish behaviour. The decision then becomes less about who is in your life but who do you attract into your life and why. It makes us question what kind of friend, partner, sibling we are and want to be. And it’s up to us to use excuses to be otherwise.
If you want honesty, be honest. If you want acceptance, accept. If you want encouragement, encourage. If you want love, love. Or if you want negativity, be negative. If you want frustration, be frustrating. In this way, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because we play out what we believe we deserve and this reflects into the world which then reflects back on to us. It then becomes a never ending cycle; one which we have the power to change by looking at who we want to be and by reflecting on who we were yesterday. And this is a daily decision we need to consciously make: What kind of person do I want to be today?