I’ve been pondering writing this for the past week. This past fast Sunday I prayed and fasted that I could be a better friend to my friends. When I was done one of the impressions I had was that one thing that I need to work on this year is to allow people into my life that want to be there and try to stop trying to appeal to those that I have to fight for attention, acceptance approval from. This also applies to racking my brain about how my beliefs, opinions, appearance, perceptions, and actions are perceived by others and how in turn it affects other's opinion of me. Also how I can be a better friend, when that’s all I’ve tried to be from the start.
I don't know where in my childhood I ever picked up “people pleasing” but if I could stab it in the heart I think a huge burden would be lifted don't you? Maybe it's that I never moved past the pain of feeling like I was the "only one" (LDS) in high school or “the only one at church” (with SSA) Who knows? I know part of it is a constant battle between trying to be Christ-like and accepting and loving and tolerant vs. being co-dependent and needy. In the end I feel alone a lot as if I haven’t done enough.
I also know what is often perceived as needy by some is often more a reflection of that persons lack of desire to be friends with me or some issue within themselves, maybe my issues mirror their own too much and I'm a painful reflection and most of the time I need to realize that it has very little to do with who I am. I need to stop allowing the acceptance of others to fuel my own self-acceptance. Maybe my opinions offend them. Maybe it’s just a personality thing. I need to stop obsessing over it and wanting to make it right if my efforts just make it worse and the other person is unwilling or perhaps unable to be open to it.
I know my heart is in the right place when I try to make friends and offer support. I also know that sometimes these attempts are unwanted and seen as a violation of boundaries or protective walls. I need to respect others, and also accept this is more “them” then “me” and step away. I've been hurt in the process of trying to make friends and have often felt rejection in my efforts but I also need to realize that my friendship is just as valuable as that person’s acceptance and their rejection isn't an indication of a lack of my worth as a person. This isn't an easy lesson, but I think it’s one I need to work on applying to my life.
In the end I think we are all going to feel a lot of sadness and regret over the things we wasted our times stressing about. I often worry if I’m wasting my time focusing on one thing when I need to put my energy towards something that is worth my time. If I’ve tried to reach out to someone and for some reason they reject that, I think the Christ-like thing to do is to not close the door, just don’t stand by the door waiting. I need to keep on my journey and if those people ever do want to be my friend they can come find me. The important thing is that I don’t close the door but that I don’t waste time in my own progression waiting.
Sometimes the only way we can be close to someone is by praying for them. But I know that I need for my own emotional well-being to stop judging myself by the way others see me and start seeing myself as the Savior does and that is someone worth knowing and loving.