I have had a hard time with something lately and from what I am hearing…I am not the only one.
I have been walking my oldest son lately through the world of social media and it has given me lots to think about for myself and hopefully for him too.
Nothing points out things in yourself as watching them mirrored in your children. Humbling!
If we instantly took away social media that word “friends” would go back to more of how it was intended.
We would for sure save the word “friends” for people that we actually really knew… not just what they want you to know.
You may not know this or believe this but I am actually very private about my life online.
I don’t share too much. I save the details and most intimate pieces of me for my family and closest friends.
I think that is how it should be.
Because I do have a blog, Facebook, Instagram account etc. there are many glimpses of my life that goes out into the world but they are only glimpses.
In addition to talking to my son I was also talking to one of my closest friends this week about friendships and the modern perspective on the word and meaning.
We have all used the word “friend” inappropriately (myself included) and I want to really get better about this and save using the word friend for those that have earned it and I truly show it to them.
I think we have a blurry line now a days what a friend is and we need to step back, take a deep breath and see that it is not as hard as you may think to put things into perspective.
Social media and having the whole world available for learning, exploring and even creating relationships has allowed us to use words for sacred relationships in almost a flippant manner.
We use the word “friend” to describe people we barely know , maybe just an acquaintance or in some instances…a stranger.
What is that in between word?
We know what a stranger means.
We know what an acquaintance means.
Have we forgotten what a friend means?
I have long loved the words and thoughts of Maya Angelou and I hope these words resonate with you as much as they do with me.
In a social media world of blogs, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and so much more we have given strangers the idea that they may really know you and then that makes you “friends”.
Do we just have bags and bags of acquaintances and some “deep and serious acquaintances” as Maya so clearly spoke?
Look again at what Maya said of friendship…
“But in a friendship you get to know the spirit of another person & your values coincide. Friends may disagree, but not about serious matters. A friend will stand for you when you no longer are able. A woman can say to her self “If I die, I know that my friend, my sister-friend will be here to hold up the banner”
THAT is a friendship I want to proclaim!
THAT is where I want to put my heart.
My phone calls.
Do you have deep and serious acquaintances in your life that are not actually friends and you haven’t taken the time to really process that?
Do you have bags and bags of people that you are giving out to and not saving the best of yourself for those that truly deserve it?
Are you wasting energy worrying about a person that is not worrying about you?
Do you have people in your life that expect friend privileges when they do not actually deserve them or reciprocate them?
Do you share your heart with everyone or have discernment about who actually listens and protects what you are feeling and sharing?
Do you know that it is completely OK to still be kind to people, care about them but not bring them over into the sacred space of true friendship?
I have a small but mighty tribe of friends and family.
These are the people I talk to each day in some form.
They love me at my best. They love me even when I am not loveable. They have been forgiven and have forgiven me. They listen and I know my heart is heard. They know me in joy and in pain. They don’t love me because what I can do for them, give them or how I can promote them. They don’t name drop or drop my name. They are safe. They are the ones that know how I am really doing and read between the lines and call to talk even though they have a million other things to do. They pick up the phone when they really shouldn’t and I do the same. I trust them with my fears, sorrow, joy, questions, hurt…and they protect that.
I love all of the beautiful people I get to meet through teaching at retreats, teaching online, conferences, blog etc. but I could never keep up on all of these relationships.
I love that I get the honor of connecting deeply one on one when I teach and that our lives have beautiful, real and meaningful impacts on one another and our paths we are on.
I love this world that allows me to connect with so many in so many different ways but as I watch my own children navigate these new waters I want to hold myself to the same standard.
What are your thoughts?
How have you helped your own children?
How have you helped yourself?