I had a sobering conversation with my brother today.
And after that, I had to repent. I was nursing a skewed perspective and as a result I was being judgemental in a matter that only needed my understanding. The whole issue plainly revealed my inconsistencies. And truth be told, I was being an outright hypocrite. This is what I had to admit and repent of. We all like to think of ourselves as perfect and that’s fine…as long as we do not lie to ourselves. Ironically, after that conversation I found myself pondering the subject of honesty and relationships.
Julia Cameron, in her book ‘The Right to Write’, in talking about a relationship and friendship between a husband and wife briefly alludes to what she terms a ‘conscious relationship’. It is this phrase that triggered my sad introspection.
When it comes to friendships, I am not the most confident person. This is because in this particular area, I feel like a failure. I feel as though somehow I’m never enough for that person I’m friends with. I know the main reason for this feeling of inadequacy is rooted in the fact that when I look back on my life journey, it appears as though most friends I’ve had have only been for a season. How could I possibly just have seasonal friends?… I’ve never been able to fully answer that question, and because of that I find myself blaming myself for every lost friend. ‘If only I had done things differently. If only I had given more of myself…if only.’ But then again, if only never works now, does it?
I know I have very high expectations. I treat others the way I would like to be treated – that is a principle I faithfully live by. So I tend to unconsciously demand everything from my friends because I know that is exactly what I give to them. But I must correct myself here because everybody understands giving differently. So, it is right here that I find myself at a loss. I don’t think I’m a bad friend…I just lack the confidence that I’m a good one.
I’ve been called demanding, which I suppose I am; jealous, which I’m afraid I can be; secretive, needy and the list goes on. The point is, when it comes to my faults- my true and proper faults- I am open and willing. I don’t believe in pretending to be something I’m not or beating around the bush. That’s how I grow. What makes me sad is that sometimes we mistake personality traits for character.
I’m scared of losing the few friends I have and sometimes I tend to hold on to them so tight that I possibly choke them. That is never intentional. It comes from a place of fear and hurt. I realised today that I needed to be honest about my issues with friendship, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me feel. And that, I feel, is the key to having conscious relationships – honesty.
Without honesty, a friendship is like a building without a foundation…utterly useless because at some point it is guaranteed to collapse. I know that honesty is being brave enough to speak and show things as they are. Sometimes it requires vulnerability. But almost always, it requires humility. I like what Julia say: ‘being honest may be many other things- risky, scary, difficult, frightening, embarrassing and hard to do – but it is not boring.’ This I find interesting in light of the worldly view that doing the right thing or living the right way is boring.
A conscious relationship is living and dynamic and thus cannot be boring. It’s a sacred space where two people can empty and fill themselves fully and completely. It’s a relationship that is strong enough to withstand and cover the wrongs and hurts that friends may cause each other along the way; a relationship that is awake, aware and deliberate; deep and grounded. For everything that I am and have become, how can I honestly not be worthy of such a relationship?