So this post is dedicated to all my faithful friends. Those who in the past year have encouraged me cried with me and loved beyond belief. These are the people who I always want in my corner.
You need relationships
Cultivating your life, also means that you cultivate good relationships. You need people to grow. The fact is…. We are designed for connection and are not meant to do this journey alone. For example, if there are things in your life that you struggle with chances are you know someone who has achieved that goal and could help you achieve it too. Each of us as we journey through life will need someone at some point in time.
My life has relied on people. I love people and want to always cultivate an atmosphere of love and acceptance. I am thankful for so many wonderful friends. Over the years, through different places, and thankfully through the convenience of social media, I have been able to keep in touch with so many of them.
I know… I know, you are thinking, “You are friends with all of them?” Well, yes and no. I know a lot are acquaintances and some are friends of friends, but I try to as much as possible. I often tell my kids that social media is hard to keep friends, in a virtual world, but those who are supposed to be in your tribe will often find their way into your life.
Those who I have deeper relationships with, I am with them a lot. These are people I see regularly and have seen me through good times and bad. Man, these people are my tribe!
A tribe is a family. Those who have like minds and hearts. We may have different beliefs and opinions, but one thing for sure, when push comes to shove, the love stays on! It’s as if we made this unspoken covenant, that we will love, honor, and protect you.
A relationship begins with being intentional about them. A friend must show himself friendly. Proverbs 18:24. You can not sit back and wait for the relationship to happen. You have to be willing to risk and show the other person or people as if, “Hey, I am worth getting to know.” It might seem awkward and maybe a little “stalky” but someone times it takes you being around to show that you would be willing to cultivate friendship.
People like people who are honest and real. To be vulnerable may seem scary at first, but the more you do it the easier it gets. We all want to be related to…and sometimes our struggles connect us on a deeper level. I a healthy relationship, people should feel free to express who they are without judgment. So, if you want to build a trustworthy relationship, don’t be the second to share something about you first. Well, this doesn’t mean to share everything right away, but maybe something current. Don’t fake or put on a façade, but allow the genuine you to be seen.
Deep friends and relationship take time to marinate. Those who you know you are those who are by your side in celebrations, but I think it the trials of your life. You have to be willing to allow them to see the sides of you and you see the facets of them. All the flaws, the mistakes, and the ugly. It only takes time. When we spend time together we are looking for a connection.
Unconditional love. Love does. Love is an action verb and tells us to think of others more highly than yourself. Love says I will have your back. I will stand by you. Love says that I will celebrate with you even if it means a loss for me and love says I will cry with you when sadness comes to you and I am in the midst of gladness. Love is willing to lay down all that you have and all you do for the benefit of the community. When one falls, then we have someone to pick us up.
This past month, some of my closest friends are starting a new adventure. I am so excited for them. A chance to pursue dreams, a chance to grow, and even a chance to begin again. I love that this opportunity came and they are going after it, but I have to admit the past 10 years seem like a blink, and I hate that our little family is growing up and moving on. We were there when kids were born when tragedy hit and for serving together. We have been through a variety of challenges and good times together. This is just a new, different chapter. Finding your tribe doesn’t mean we all stay in the same place, or that anyone takes their place. It means, the influence they had on our lives will stay with us forever, and we will send apart of us with them.
Cultivating your life with deep relationships should be apart of your growth. I know myself and my family are forever marked by the love and acceptance our friends have given us.
You were not meant to do life alone. You can not have your best life, without people in it. So, if you struggle with relationships, I pray that you find your tribe. Find your people. And learn to do life well with them, whether near or far.