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There’s so much talk about finding that extraordinary love of our life. Maybe everything we need to know about romantic love can be learned from our friends.
We don’t expect our friends to change our lives and make everything that’s wrong, right. We just expect them to be who they are, and then we let them be that. It’s part of being a friend.
We don’t expect to like everything about our friends. We know they have defects of character. They do things occasionally that irritate us.
So you meet someone, become infatuated, date, and allow your mind to create an exaggerated image of that person. Soon you find that he’s your soul mate.
You don’t want to live without him; he means everything to you. And then he stumbles, somewhere around three months, maybe six months.
He fails to meet your expectations. He loses soul mate status.
“You just aren’t the person I thought you were,” you say, walking out the door.
There are times when we simply do not know what to do, or where to go, next. Sometimes these periods are brief, sometimes lingering.
We can get through these times. We can rely on our program and the disciplines of recovery. We can cope by using our faith, other people, and our resources.
Accept uncertainty. We do not always have to know what to do or where to go next. We do not always have clear direction.
Refusing to accept the inaction and limbo makes things worse.
It is okay to temporarily be without direction. Say “I don’t know,” and be comfortable with that. We do not have to try to force wisdom, knowledge, or clarity when there is none.
Sometimes, as part of taking care of ourselves, it becomes time to end certain relationships. Sometimes, it comes time to change the parameters of a particular relationship.
This is true in love, in friendships, with family, and on the job.
Endings and changes in relationships are not easy. But often, they are necessary.
Sometimes, we linger in relationships that are dead, out of fear of being alone or to postpone the inevitable grieving process that accompanies endings.
Sometimes, we need to linger for a while, to prepare ourselves, to get strong and ready enough to handle the change.
I know nothing is going to last forever,” Stephen King said. “But the key to life and being happy is acting as though it is.”
Many of us have had our illusions about security and permanency shattered. The longer we’re alive, the more it gets beat into us: nothing is forever. We can plan on many things, but the only thing we can plan on with any certainty is change.
The spirit of adventure settles over us slowly sometimes. In the beginning, when those old winds of change blow, we turn our backs, fight, and resist. We just want things to stay the same. Gradually we let go of the need to control. We allow things to change and us to change with them.
We accept the change.
People with close relationships feel good, suffer less anxiety and depression, and are more fulfilled through old age. But personal relationships take some effort.
• Make time for friendship, no matter how busy you are. Schedule time with friends into your calendar.
• Don’t let a misunderstanding get in the way of a great friendship. Be willing to talk openly. Communication is key to lasting friendships.
• Make time for family and extended family. Plan visits with those who live near and far.
Stop depriving yourself of what feels comfortable, right, and good to you.
Some of us grew up in environments that were emotionally deprived.
Being happy and enjoying life wasn’t allowed.
Emotional deprivation was the theme.