Authenticity

Relational Authenticity

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Over the past few years, I’ve freed myself from the requirement to be friends with everyone. I’ve spent time with my main connection platform (Facebook) and gone through and released myself from the need to be friends with every single person I’ve known over the years. I am no longer a friend collector.  I examined each friendship and decided if I wanted to continue to put in the effort to cultivate this relationship, or whether I needed to free myself (and them) from the need to put in more energy.

This intentional editing continued until I reached a comfortable amount of people on social media, and less so in person-to-person relationships. I start to get itchy if my Facebook list gets to 100, as I know that I cannot give what I want to give (quality wise) to that many people.  In person, I have a very small group of intimate friendships.

About 8 years ago, I started this journey with the freeing of my father from my life.  My parents divorced during my late middle school years, and since then he has made sure that I’m secondary to any other relationships he has in his life. This relationship was the first that I officially divorced myself from.

It bothered me the first time someone said: “you’re comfortable just not having someone in your life anymore.” As if someone should always have access to my life because they once did. This isn’t true.

Being invited into someone’s life as a friend or continuing a relationship with a family member is based on mutual respect and care. If that isn’t there’s, neither is the relationship. That’s freeing for me and them.

A year ago, I found that I had a serious desire to develop a group of women that I wanted to be more like. a group that I could spend time with and know that we could be authentic, real, and honest with. I hand-picked a small group of lovely ladies whom I knew would feed my soul, and each other.  And so, the tribe was born.

The tribe is a group of ladies that get together once a month and simply “be” with each other.  Sometimes our conversation is very deep, sometimes not as much.  But it is always surrounded by love, understanding, compassion, and laughter.

Each time I spend time with these ladies, I leave feeling fed and loved.  What I also love about this group is that they have become friends with each other as well.  Many didn’t know each other until we came together as a group, and now to see deepening friendships among them is fulfilling as well.

This week I sat with a dear friend (and tribe member) over coffee. Every topic we talked about was meaningful and lovely, like how you feel eating warm soup on a cold day.  That’s not to say that every topic was deep or profound, but real and authentic.

Edit your life.

 

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