I don't do this often, but I have something on my heart, so this entry is more a stream of thought instead of my normal photo diary.
Relationships are complicated. They are the sum of a spectrum of emotions, an unending amount of life experiences and ever-unique personalities. They are frustrating and they are rewarding. Our relationships are what we make of them.
If you are sitting at home, alone, feeling left out or unappreciated. It is important for you to recognize the power you have to change your situation. You don't have to be alone, you don't have to be left out, you don't have to be unappreciated. These are all things that You have the power to change. You can meet new people and go new places, You can invite people to dinner or throw a party and You can speak up and be honest about how you are feeling and what they can do to change that.
It is incredible how much we expect others to know about us, about how we feel, when most of the time we can't pinpoint things ourselves. How easy is it to blame our circumstances on everyone else, instead of looking at our part in things? This was the pep-talk that I gave my 13 year old self. If you don't want to go through life without good friendships, then you have to be willing to put yourself out there and actually be a friend. I'm not going to lie and say it is easy, a lot of the time it isn't. With relationships come sacrifice, you have to learn what it means to put others before yourself. You have to give time and make an effort. You even have to over come that deep fear of being rejected.
Take a minute and reflect on the relationships you have right now. How many of them are genuine? How many of them are one-sided? How many of them are surface friendships? How many of them make you a better person?
I believe we were built with a desire to be connected to other people. It is part of our being, to want to be known and to know others. If that is the case, if that is a deep desire...then why do we all often fall short? Why is it so hard to be vulnerable, heck, to be honest? Why do we complain and complain about being alone but allow our actions to keep us detached from the people around us?
I've mentioned before, how incredibly blessed I've been when it comes to real friendships, this was not always the case. I can tell you that my 12yr old self was incredibly lonely and by the time I hit 13 I was ready (desperate) for something to change. I took baby steps...I pushed myself to step out into the scary unknown and face the fear of whether or not someone would accept me and want to know me. That small decision way back then...has drastically changed who I am today. Every person I call friend is in my life because I want them there. I make an effort to let them know they are important to me. That they are loved. It's not always with grand gestures. Sometimes it's with little notes, texts, small gifts or time spent. But, they know.
I also know when to walk away. I can step back and see when there are people in my life that do nothing but drain me or I them. We don't bring out the best in each other or really put the effort in to care for each other. We aren't the right friend for each other. So, why force it? Why do we feel the need to try and make things work that aren't meant to? I am done trying to force it. It is energy and time that can be spent elsewhere. You aren't going to be friends with everyone, that is a lesson I had to learn young. One, I am happy to embrace now as an adult.
I am not the kind of person that wants to be able to say I have hundreds of friends. I just want to be able to say there are people out there in the world that I truly know. People that I am invested in, that I believe and pray for their dreams like I do my own. That there are people out there that I love no matter how far apart we are or how long it's been since we've caught up. Those people I can call at 1am when I need to cry, those people I can be my dorky unencumbered self with and know they won't judge me, the people I know pray for me and care for me.
Relationships are a gift that should be treasured. They are precious and their value should be recognized. I encourage you to reflect on your friendships, if you value them and want to keep them make an effort this week and let them know what they mean to you.