I took a walk down memory lane via the blog this past weekend and I read back over several posts from last fall when I endured one of the hardest seasons of my life to date. Now, 6 months from the start of that hard season I'm happy to report I'm in a completely different place. When I wrote this post I was mucking through the aftermath but the best part about reading back over this was that I've taken my own advice. After realizing where I was in my relationships and my rescuer tendencies I have spent 2013 investing the right amount of time into the right relationships and I'm happy to report it's made a world of difference.
I am in the best place relationally, mentally, spiritually, and financially that I have ever been in. Wow, even writing that gives me chills. God has been so faithful to me in the wake of a tough season. I have been blessed in my friendships. I have seen the fruits of my efforts to show better initiative and even to enforce better boundaries. I hesitate to use the word 'happy' because I think as a believer it's not really about feeling happy it's about being joyful (which is a choice in the midst of all seasons). But I can report that I have truly never been in a better place in life than I am today.
The scars I wrote about as I closed our 2013 still exist today and I have caught myself being guarded. It takes constant effort to knock down the walls I catch myself building and to be authentic in my relationships. A girl friend of mine said to me over dinner a month or so ago 'you share the least with me of any of my friends'. What I've found is that the more I've been burned in relationships the better listener I've become, because I'm willing to share less and less of myself with others and this is something I'm fighting. I desire to be someone who is honest and open.
After the tough loss of a coworker at my last job I recognize the incredible value in having people you share the tough stuff with. You need people in your life who can bare your burdens when you can't handle it all yourself. Who you can show your weaknesses too. People you can let your guard down with. I have those people and I'm working at being honest with them and allowing them the chance to be there for me in the tough stuff as well as in the fun stuff.
The best takeaway for me has been this: you do become like the people you spend time with. You adopted their habits good or bad and even more you adopt their attitudes. So choose wisely who you invest in and who you ask to pour into you. Find people who challenge and inspire you. Find people who do a few things better than you do and learn from them.
Thank you Emerson for walking me through a season of betrayal but now I am moving into a season of loving Shakespeare for this:
'A friend is one who knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow'.
Cheers to growth.