Sometimes it is our employer or workplace, sometimes it is on a more personal level but at some point we cross precipices that require we leave certain ‘friends’ behind.  Depending who you are internally this can bring upon a myriad of emotions.  Regardless of the impact (reaction) it is an excellent time, while in transition, to  re-visit what a friend is to you (proactive).  Better definition leads to better results in who you surround yourself with.  Indeed it is true you will rise or fall to the level of the 5 people you are most around and considered your friends/family.

I personally am traversing the transition period as I prepare to shift both my physical (where I live) and emotional/spiritual (who and what I surround myself with) realities.  It has been an excellent time for me to redefine what serves me well.  If I surround myself with those people and things that serve me well I can in turn serve others to the best of my capacity. 

A couple of days ago someone said to me, ‘that is excellent you did that, they could use a good friend.’  Absolutely, we all deserve good friends.  But here is the rub, friendship is an act of mutuality.  We often find ourselves out in the wilderness so to speak wondering why there is no one to support us.  Could it be perhaps that we were using our friendships not to serve ourselves but rather to serve our egos?  Do you find yourself on occasion finding you are not receiving what you need from a friendship, but damn if you are not feeling like a genius shelling out advice?  Our lovely egos do love to make us feel important even at the expense of feeling valued.  There is a big difference there, isn’t there!  

Here is my recommended limited checklist for you so that you do not find yourself thinking the same and wondering in the wilderness or dessert for 40 days or 40 years.  Begin to look around at who you surround yourself with and perhaps add-on with your own checklist.  Here we go…

Are you able to mutually express your thoughts and feelings?  If you find yourself in the permanent  role of pillar of support and/or therapist perhaps it is time to move on.  You deserve just as much support as you give.

Is your time valued?  If you are continually having the same conversations over and seeing no forward movement for yourself or your ‘friend’ perhaps it is time to move on.  We all have points of stagnation which are understandable.  But if you find yourself rooted or your ‘friend’ rooted and not willing to move forward, it is time to perhaps grow forward. 

Are you a broken record?  I am a big fan of repetition for emphasis!  I believe in it as it takes us all time to find our point of pivot and point of release/relief.  However, there is a point where excuses become evident and illustrate progress will not be forthcoming.  This would be yet another point to perhaps grow forward. 

You have committed to being there in thick and thin.  Excellent.  One thing though, there is a difference in being a true friend and letting yourself be taken advantage of (or taking advantage of others) and it can be boiled down to the premise of co-dependency.  If you are entrenched in a scenario that involves people treating those who treat them badly better than those who treat them well (i.e. friends/you) this will not serve you or your ‘friend’ well.

I know you may be thinking, ‘well obviously’.   But truth be told it can be very hard to let go of others that we ‘know’ and move forward to those we do not know yet.  Often it is of greater comfort to remain where we may not feel supported but we do know our environment.  And while Khalil Gibran said it so eloquently, “March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life’s path,” it is indeed easier said than done.  I can tell you this without doubt or reservation though, moving forward leads to better things.  I myself have uncovered better relationships and friends by moving forward in the last six months than I have ever had before. In part based on the people and in part based on my growth and standards. 

I currently have traversed quite the horrifying time over the past twelve months.  It has been an outstanding, albeit painful at times, way to sort through those who proclaim they are my friend and those who actually put friendship with me into practice.  I have found, and I am certain you will as well,  there are numerous people who say the are my friends; however they, one, rarely ask me how I am, yet freely share their challenges, and two, could not provide you an accurate scope of what I have been through in the past twelve months.  This is not a judgement, it is a mere reality that has served me very well as I move forward.  This reality has allowed me to embrace new friends whom have helped pull me up to the next level rather than wallowed around in the enjoyable crapulence we sometimes find ourselves loving.

It is very interesting to me that I have a solid handful of people I would trust with my life right now.  I had no relationship with any of them twelve months ago.  One of them I met through a mutual friend and have never even met face to face yet she has provide more to me in the form of friendship(and healing) than I could have ever imagined.  As I continue to transition I am fully aware that we all give what we perceive as the best we can from where we stand.  It is your decision however to decide what it is you want in your relationships and friends.  Those I am leaving behind have not offended me in any way, they have not fallen short as they are where they are and they are good with it.  My hope for them is they too grow forward at the pace and in the space that will serve them.  I will do the same.