Last year I wrote about stitching the cloth of friendship. I want to re-visit some of these threads and push them a little deeper.
For the full conversation, take a moment to re-visit The Recipe for a Good Friendship.
In the comments one reader asked about self-aware-ness, how was it valuable to friendship and what exactly made it good.
How is self-awareness richer than deep breathing and mat work at a gym?
Self-awareness is actually a vital ingredient in authentic friendships. Self-awareness is the fuel that powers humble people, those women we’re all drawn to because of their ability to be simply, themselves, no more, no less.
Self-awareness begins with an accurate assessment of who we are, what we can offer, what we can be and what we cannot be.
Self-awareness is precisely the reason most friendships don’t last a lifetime. The more we know about ourselves the more we come to realize our current friends simply don’t know or don’t want to know us.
Not Who I Was
Bee and I used to connect over mocking feminism, now I’m a feminist. What do I do?
In high school Lauren and I played sports together, now we don’t even live in the same town. How can we connect when we don’t have much to connect about anymore?
Ana has kids my age and lives in my town, but we don’t have more to talk about than our kids. Is our friendship worth pursuing?
If friendship requires connection points, and the more points we connect the more close we can be (for more see The Recipe for a Good Friendship), then how are you connecting with your friends?
Are these authentic connections?
Or do you long for more?
If I’ve been faking (so as not to hurt feelings) my interest in knitting club, but then I grow to realize I’d rather watch The Office and make cookies during that time, my knitting friends don’t really know me.
By skipping knitting club I’m being more Jonalyn, than by going and making everyone happy. Of course, skipping out on groups that expect you bring up another barrel of issues.
What about hurting their feelings?
And isn’t friendship about working hard when then going gets tough?
Sally and I are big proponents of sticking it out when friendship is hard. We recently got a chance to practice this with each other.
We all want to be faithful friends, but faithful to what?
Faithful to each other
faithful to who we really are.
With a masters degree in ethics, and a firm knowledge of Scripture, I think doing the right things is very important. But as my therapist once said, “Most of life isn’t black and white, right or wrong. We know a few moral commands (think 10 Commandments), but most of life we make decisions with complete freedom from God.”
God says, “You get to choose and remain faithful not to what others expect out of you, but to what I put in you.”
Self-Aware of God’s Ingredients
What did God put in you? What if you were free to find out?
If you want to go or not go to knitting (or any other) club?
To forego the playmate when I really don’t connect with her.
To leave the church because I am more fake than known.
To stop attending that group because I simply bores or exhausts me.
We do too many things because we think they’re “moral issues” when God has said, “You are free.”
So what could you do that would make you more the person God created?
What do you need to stop doing?
What friendships do you know won’t last a lifetime? and for good reason?
Sally writes well on how making changes with our friends involves both kindness and compassion, not simply dropping off the face of the earth. For more about transitioning check out her P.S. What I Haven’t Said.
Regardless, being self-aware in order to become more of who you are will require more work, but it will make you more free.
And this world needs you, the faithful you, the one God made.