NEXT100 How Do You Show Up In Relationships?

Posted on : 07-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Spirituality

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As I drove that long trek today between San Marcos and Austin, Texas (about 35 miles one way) I switched between my favorite radio stations, listening mostly to Jeff Ward on KLBJ AM and caught a minute or two of him talking about the recent article (Huffington Post) about how most Americans just have two close friends (confidants).  Evidently on the whole, Americans have shrunk from having three confidants down to just two.

Which got me to thinking. How do “we” show up in our relationships?  How are “we” defining friendships and close friendships today?  I am very active on several social networks and I do enjoy many friendships with all kinds of people; however, I still have my close friends who I relate to mostly out of cyber space.  I’ve spent way too many years getting my psyche straightened out to not cultivate and respect the friendships I have.   How about you?

Are you someone that people can trust? Are you someone who listens well to others?  Are you someone who cares enough about creating a solid friendship that you will hang in there even when sometimes the intimacy can get really uncomfortable?  My experience has been in most of my really good friendships that at some point down the road the relationship comes to that crossroad where you have to decide how much of your heart you’re willing to put into the game or if you’d rather pack up your gear and head down the road away from all that intimacy stuff.  It’s really freaking uncomfortable when you’ve allowed enough of your true self (thoughts, feelings, opinions, beliefs) to be seen that both the pretty and the not so purty comes out.  That’s when you really find out who your true friends are and who you really want to have as a friend.

You probably have an idea of some of the characteristics you like in a friend.  Mine are pretty simple when you come right down to it: truthful, loyal, respectful, confident, loving, intelligent/wise, funny, curious and spiritual.  I like to spend my time with people who are engaged in life and who want to bring out the best in themselves and others.  I don’t have time for naysayers, although it’s quite alright for someone to feel anger and/or resentment as long as they are willing to get to the crux of what that is about for them.  I figure with all the baggage that I used to cart around in my life (at least enough to fill up two bus loads) that I’ve since released, it’s a small request to make that my close friends have worked and continue to work on themselves as well.

When I think about some of the close friends I have in my life, I feel overwhelmingly blessed. I know that they would be there for me as I would be for them and in many cases, we’ve had the opportunity to be there for each other through thick or thin.  Close friendship was not always beer and skittles let me tell you.  I had no idea how to be close with more than two or three people at a time.  And don’t even get me started on my marriage.  I am so grateful that my husband and I have grown with each other and that our relationship keeps getting richer as a result. But I guarantee you wouldn’t have wanted to witness the first two or three years of our lives together. Neither one of us had any idea at all how to be intimate day-in and day-out much less how to be in a marriage.  Turns out though we both had strong values when it came to marriage that we had no idea we had until we were in the middle of it.  Twenty-one years later I’m grateful for that strength.

W H A T E V E R!!!!! Is what I have to say with all the media hoopla about social media and social networking and our being isolated, etc.   Not all of what you read is true for many of us.   At least those of us who enjoyed a good many years figuring out how to live on this planet before technology and although we are enjoying the technology…..we’re also good at using it  instead of allowing it to use us.

How do you show up in relationships?

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