A Timely Reminder

I have a specific wish for myself. As I’ve aged, that wish has become more detailed and is now more of a goal. As a very spiritual person, I’ve committed that goal to my deity and am waiting, sometimes impatiently, for it to manifest. It’s imminent though and I will not lose faith or sight of it.

It was only appropriate then that I recently  be reminded of some very important things:

  • I think it was Chris Rock or Eddie Murphy who once said that when you first meet someone, you don’t meet the ‘real’ them, you meet their representative. This has become even more true in the technological age where social media is the sum total of some person’s ‘personalities’. It’s so easy to pretend these days: pretend that we have our shit together, pretend that we’re happy, pretend that we’re nice, decent people with values. It’s also easy to be an asshole. We can hide behind the anonymity provided by our devices and be the most selfish, mean-spirited person we can possibly be. We hardly ever get to know the ‘real’ anybody these days. We fast track friendships and relationships and without the kind of interaction where you get to look someone in the eye, observe their body language, listen to their voices, people can maintain the illusion that’s created at that first meeting. But at the end of the day, if you dig deep enough, the veneer peels off and whatever is really inside starts to seep out. Too often, it’s ugly. It’s arrogant and unkind and insecure. It’s sad and haphazard and is not at all what it originally appeared to be. Some of the most awful internet ‘trolls’ are ‘living’ near pathetic lives. Some of the people taking the most beautiful pictures are doing so in an attempt to cover up deep insecurities and shortcomings, some of the people who seem the nicest are the worst gossipers and backstabbers. And because we fast track everything, we never really know anymore. Most people are no longer inclined to dig beneath the surface of someone, to ask the pertinent, probing questions and really get to know the ‘real’ them. As time passes, that may become impossible for many as we ourselves lose sight of who we really are. Reminder 1. Be authentic. Speak your truth. Be as real and honest as you can be. 
  • It was Jane Austen who said “Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.”. Few things are truer. We’ve all been disappointed. Crappy job, shitty day, failed romance, run ins with awful people. None of us are immune. But for those of us who have friends, real friends, there is no disappointment too vast or impossible to get over. I am truly, madly, deeply in love with my real friends. They have dragged my hopelessly romantic heart from the pits of despair on many an occasion, they’ve allowed me to vent when the work day has been frustrating, they’ve listened to me cry and curse and have shored up my faith and confidence and my self esteem more times than I can count. I try my best to do the same for them. Real friendships are cultivated over time, tested and tried, broken and rebuilt and grow and flourish regardless of time and distance. I am blessed in my friends. Reminder 2. “A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words” ~ Shania Twain 
  • Life is about reciprocity. There’s a balance and an order to things that once upset can topple even that which seems invincible. You cannot have a one sided relationship, be it platonic or romantic and expect it to last. Once the balance changes, when one person consistently gives more than the other, the entire structure becomes unsustainable. I have systematically culled my one sided relationships. For those who remain, I am as much their friend as they are mine. I prefer the same balance in my romantic relationships. I tend to be very vocal if I do not feel that my friend or partner is pulling their weight. For those who have run in the opposite direction, I’m grateful to you. Thank you for giving up so I know that we could not have stood the test of time anyway. What remains is one of the strongest parts of the foundation on which my life is built. I now rarely find myself empty from giving more that I receive. I no longer harbour people who make me feel drained after every interaction. I refuse to accommodate those who do not celebrate me and care for me and value me and love me as I do them. I struggled with depression for a long time and I realized that a big part of it was my interactions with people who took without giving anything back. Reminder 3. Don’t ever weaken yourself to strengthen someone who will walk away when you have nothing left to offer. 

In short, be your best self at all times. Take the time and find out who that is and live it, proudly, every single day and only entertain and accommodate those who help you to do just that.. Namaste.



















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