Today’s Words of Wisdom are inspired by a video I watched a few weeks back (included below). I have been reflecting a good amount on friendship and unconditional love after recently considering ending a longtime friendship. As I have grown older I have learned to recognize people, places, and situations that will either lift me up or tear me down. I have also learned the value of having true helpmates in my life. While also understanding that these helpmates can serve various purposes. But getting to this point has been far from easy. Wisdom comes with learning from mistakes so that you never repeat them again. Yet, acquiring this wisdom can be difficult because one does not always realize a repeated mistake until it happens.
Such was the case within this friendship. My having a very giving nature had been fruitful when the people around me did not take advantage of that nature. “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey. But I had finally come to realize that this person was a taker and could not do for me what I was doing for him/her. My resentment for this lack of reciprocity was starting to change me. I could not come to terms that our methods of friendship/love were different. And- once I realized the change in myself and the difference in our approaches- I resolved to help my friend see my perspective in hopes that it would help spark change in this friend. I did not approach the situation from a place of unconditional love and acceptance.
I had forgotten that “love is patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful or conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.” –Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember; adaptation of 1Corinthians 13:4-8.
Like many others I firmly believe in the power of love and of giving it freely. But I had to remind myself that love is also a commitment to accept the faults not only in myself but also in others. I also have to be cognizant that unless there is a mutual understanding of how two people approach friendships/relationships/love, I cannot expect the other person to be who I want them to be. Sometimes it is important for the person to be exactly who they are in order to help you become a better version of you. I had resolved to be honest and understand that while the friendship may not be exactly what I want it to be it could be exactly what I need it to be.
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.
A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.
A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
In the spirit of the powerful message in this video, I would like to encourage you to be open and honest with those you love. Love simply, so that others can simply love!