I have quite a few girlfriends but only a handful of them I truly consider close sister friends. Someone I'd do anything for or with. These are the few I'd go to the ends of the earth for without question, logic or reason! All they have to do is say pack a bag we've got to go. When they are experiencing things in life it almost feels that we are one. I'm experiencing it with them on a level that is as emotional as if it were me myself. That's how deep the connection that I have to this particular group runs. The ups and downs, the highs and lows, the successes and failures, I experience it with them and for years it has been that way. So it's hard to pull back when providing personal opinions about life because it's an emotional place that I am typically coming from. What I've had to learn over time is that it's important to know who they need you to be in a given moment that is beneficial for you and them.
We are always looking in on someone else's situation and completely positive of what we would do if it were us. Like I've said before, we see so much more clearly when we aren't the ones walking the path. Over the years my girlfriends have had their fair share of experiences and so have I. We talk, we pray, we cry, we consult the other friends, we ponder, and we conclude what we understand what's best whether right or wrong . As I've got older and life has changed, I'm living by a modified set of rules pertaining to the type of disposition I take because I know that everyone has different needs at given points in their lives . Your unsolicited opinion or advice can lead to something beyond its intended purpose. In the past I have been so quick to consult because I didn't necessarily care how it came across or about anyone's feelings. Prided myself on being real and honest. Even though I still feel that way about myself and will always be that person, the levels to which I l interfere and the treading that I am capable of doing has changed and grown dramatically. Rightfully so.
You've got to learn to be the listener sometimes. People don't always come to you for advice. They don't always want your realness. Sometimes they just need a sounding board. As a friend you've got to know when to provide that for them. It is hard to be in this place when you love and care for someone but that love and care should be what helps you discern the space you need to reside in when dealing with that person. It's definitely hard for me because I want to interject. Sometimes I want to scream at the top of my lungs in order to shake reason into their head but there are certain areas of their brains that can only be reached through their own growth and revelations. As much as what they are experiencing is a learning experience for them it is for you as well because in this space you are learning some of the limits you must draw with that individual. Loving through supportive listening........a challenge and a necessity.
There is a time for the opinionated advice giver. She lives inside of me for sure. The older I get, I have learned to tame her and grateful to see that my tactics to do so have been sticking! She was over the top at one point! This person is the one who is Unafraid and Uninhibited and coming from a place of unfiltered emotion. It's the connection I talked about earlier. I have friends who have the ability to tap in to the most emotional part of me without much pushing. If someone hurts them or they are suffering in any way, I am often unable to stay out of this lane. It's almost as if I too am being pushed, pulled and challenged in the exact same setting and therefore this level of friend is the one that represents me. Even though this friend is filled with more raw emotion, some situations call for it. Things come about that make this level of engagement necessary. When I go there now I'm not apologetic because I have learned moreso when she's necessary and when she's not. It's so important for the relationship though not to be overbearing because even in moments where this is who they need you to be, it can complicate things if you go to hard with how you feel. Ultimately it's still important in this space to filter what they need and what they don't..................so you aren't pushing them away with your raw and uncut disposition.
I never want anyone to feel I'm pushing them to be someone other than themselves because the reality is, you don't want to have any relationship where you must water down who you are and how you feel to appease someone else. You never want to be in a situation where you can't check a friend or be totally honest with them about how you feel. But there are definitely levels to giving and sensitivities in particular moments that have to be considered. You can't just jump into the face of someone and force your personal opinions on them. There may be a time they will need that and you are capable of providing it, but harsher words can be spoken and damage the message at hand. Who benefits from that? Knowing your friend can help dictate the timing and delivery in which that type of position needs to be taken. As I grow, I have taken time to learn more about me and my friends. I know I can say something to one I may not be able to say to the other or that I can say the same thing to both but it must be done in different ways. Or even knowing that there can be times the same thing is said to both and knowing they won't perceive it the same. It's a balance for sure.
No matter who you are in your relationships, it's important to always know when and how to be that person. It does take time and maturity on your part and I can say that because I didn't always have it. As the people in my life continue to live.........as well as I, I'm learning when to be who they need. I'm also learning to be who I need. Filtering the person I release into each moment of our friendship helps scale back the level of emotional toll that things can take on me. When they suffer I suffer and it can definitely prove to be very taxing. So finding balance is for everyone involved and allows you to avoid visiting a place that isn't designed for you to visit. Making that adjustment alone helps you deal with your own emotions and leave behind the things not meant for you to carry. It helps your relationships stay in tact, reduces stress and drama and allows a level of growth in you that keeps you sane and unattached when helping out a friend.
Until Next Time Lovies!