So I am pretty proud to declare that I have done a kick ass job this last year or two learning to establish boundaries with the people in my life and keeping them.
I spent my childhood not feeling loved, not hearing “I love you” so it was brought to my attention that somewhere along the way I began trying to compensate for that emptiness by overextending myself and desperately searching to be filled with love, even if it meant allowing myself to be hurt and broken in the process… kind of ironic right?
Well at some point a few years ago I began to make some changes and those changes turned into new friends, new rules, new experiences, new goals… new boundaries. Many times I found myself half a step away from leaping into a new situation with a new friend wanting to unload everything I had on them, hoping that they would love me back and embrace me with open arms and lots of love…but I didn’t. I pushed forward slowly and awkwardly forcing myself to try and build each new friendship slowly.
I have moments where I look at people I wish were my friends, I watch them with their group of loving and open friends and yearn to be part of their “club”… Oh what I wouldn’t give to get a single phone call from one of them inviting me to a Bible Study, or BBQ… movie, night out… or hey, a simple cup of coffee…. Do I go out on a limb and ask them? I actually do. Sometimes I get the half hearted “yeah sure id love to!” without any followup, othertimes I get the “I am just way too busy” response, which is either true, or not… but either way I dont keep pushing anymore. I accept it for what it is. They either want to put forth the energy it takes to grow a new friendship, or they dont. Does it hurt when someone you want to be friends with doesnt return the affection?? Of course it does…
But because I am building boundaries I am forced to let it go and move on. I am learning to only put energy into relationships that give positive energy back. This stage of friendship, and life in general is so tough because aside from my friends and family who have known me from childhood, any friends I have now, are strickly because our children are friends or have a class together. These are not people who call me when they are having a bad day, or check in on me when IM having a bad day… these are people who “hang out” out of convenience…. because our kids are friends we might as well get along and make small talk. Sure, dont get me wrong, I bet some really solid friendships develop from this sort of begining…but that’s what I want NOW. that’s where I want to go, NOW.
But instead, I continue my climb, slowly and steadily, hoping that just like today, tomorrow will bring me one step closer to true lifelong, soul lifting friends who will love me for me and make me whole. I keep building and growing and hopefully one day I will look around and see that I am surrounded by some deep rooted friendships that will last long past our children have grown old and left the nest.
…and all began when I learned to create boundaries.
***Let me conclude with a little disclaimer… IF you are part of my life and feel like we are truly good friends please dont be offended by this post. I am in NO way saying I do not have some decent down to earth, high-quality friends in my life. I have plenty of you, most of whom actually take the time to read my little ramblings. My point is just that, building new friendships is hard, even more so when all you want is to be loved by others but you are forcing youself to create boundaries and make yourself important enough to try and NOT be hurt each and every time you reach out to someone for love.***