April 4, 2013 - 2:05pm
Loneliness is absolutely no fun and some will go to any length to avoid it. We attach ourselves to the wrong things- an abusive relationship, toxic friends, bad jobs, etc. We may also try to avoid and forget our loneliness by turning to alcohol, excessive spending, or seeking the wrong type of attention from our peers.
Loneliness is actually just a horrible feeling. We may feel like we have no purpose in this world, and along with the feeling comes many physical symptoms. Unfortunately we all deal with bouts of loneliness at certain points in our lives. It can happen during major life changes such as bad break-ups, divorces or even situations that are supposed to be happy times, such as moving out of state for a new job, or marriage.
I believe that although loneliness can be draining on us, if we allow ourselves to experience
and sit in it, the feeling can actually inspire us to find ourselves. This is a time that we can reflect on who we are, and what we want out of life without any outside interference. We can decide for ourselves what we believe in and what we expect from others who will potentially be in our “inner circle”.
How Did I Create My “Inner Circle”
The great thing about being an adult is that we get to choose who we associate with on different levels. It requires strength and careful decision making skills to make sure we don’t just take in the first person that comes along. We need to be able to choose wisely and refer back to that time of loneliness when we were able to take time to discover what our expectations are from others in a friendship.
I believe that friendship is a two-way street. Not a street that you travel on alone, and it is only when you see your friend pass by you in a shiny new coupe, or when all the green lights are no longer turning fast enough for you, or when you run out of gas , that you turn to a friend to refuel your tank. That is a very one-sided and selfish “friendship”.
So, what do I look for in a friend you ask? I look for people who validate my purpose and meaning and those that have similar beliefs. Nobody is perfect, I’m sure most will agree with me, but I make sure my support system validates me as a person, even if they disagree with me here and there.
Mutual respect is another major aspect of a healthy relationship. As your sense and purpose in life becomes clearer, it is very possible that you may outgrow some friends. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care for them, but you may find it difficult to maintain enough mutual respect for that person to keep them in your inner circle. The closest people need to respect and support your purpose in life as you continue your journey.
Comfort, Motivation, Flexibility, Honesty and Loyalty round out my list of what I look for in a friend. I have to say that I have and continue to choose my inner circle wisely. There are some empty chairs, and I am okay with that. Life is all about growth and learning and experiencing new things. How can we live life if we are not open to change. If we continue to live as we are, in relationships that are not healthy, are we allowing ourselves to grow and truly enjoy all that life has to offer us?