Friday, July 6, 2018

At what point do we outgrow our relationships?

Although this is really a sewing blog, it is also a place where I share my thoughts and feelings about things, although infrequently. Right now, I feel the need to share something weighing heavily on my mind. If you have thoughts, feelings, or ideas, please feel free to comment.

I am trying to determine when it is time to walk away from a friendship, a relationship, even a family relationship? 

Why is it that so many people in our lives play games? Why can’t we all be real and just be who we are? Why can’t we make our opinions known without the fear of being condemned because we believe differently than someone else? Why does what we believe to be a discussion turn have to turn into a confrontation with someone being right and someone else being wrong?

Lately, I frequently find myself doing something I don’t want to do to fulfill someone else’s expectations and not disappoint others. I am trying to remember once again the power to say no. I don’t like feeling obligated, and am generally shy and introverted, so I am often wanting to spend time alone instead of with others. I need alone time to feed my soul, unlike extroverts who need to be around others.

 I’ve been contemplating this for about a month now, and I keep remembering the poem that goesPeople come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
I found the following on a blog and I’m trying to figure out what is working and not working in my life. I’m feeling overwhelmed and like I just want to go back to my former preferences of being alone most of the time and not interacting with others except by choice.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly.  They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually.  They may seem like a godsend, and they are.  They are there for the reason you need them to be.  Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.  Sometimes they die.  Sometimes they walk away.  Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand.  What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.  The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.  They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.  They may teach you something you have never done.  They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.  Believe it!  It is real!  But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.  Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway); and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.  It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. – Author Unknown

How do you select friends, and as an adult do you find it difficult or easy? Do you consider many people friends? Do you consider casual acquaintances or do you only consider those people friends who you enjoy doing things with? Have you lived in the same town all or most of your life and your friends have been with you from childhood? Have you moved to a new location and had to start over? How and where did you meet compatible people?

How important is it that you and your friends agree about things and have a lot of things in common? Do you have one friend who shares one activity or interest, and another friend for another interest and so on? If you’re a more or less introvert, what causes you to chose a specific person as a friend or do you fall into a friendship by having someone else continue to pursue you and then allowing it to happen?
Do you believe you need to have shared values and beliefs to be friends? How about wanting to do the same things?

The majority of my friends over the last ten plus years are women I have met in sewing classes and we had that connection. Some I have other connections with like Phyllis, who is another avid mystery reader, and with whom I share book suggestions and thoughts. She will actually write a critique of the books she reads, which I find wonderful to read, but impossible to do. I can tell you when I like something but can’t give a synopsis of the books I read. My mind doesn’t work like that. Although I’ve always been an avid reader, book reports were absolutely torture. At the same time, she loves going to clubs and learning new things like embroidery club, knitting club, etc.
Another friend, Barbara, and I have shared a love of sewing, travel, the real estate industry, energy work, life plans, goal setting, and motivational beliefs as well as many spiritual beliefs. We have taken a lot of classes together over the years. We are at different life stages now and I am finding we’re not connecting at the same levels as before, but that shared history is there. And I really like her outgoing personality.
My new friends are people who live near me. We are part of a group that does Aqua Exercise several times a week. The friendships have grown over more than a year. But currently, with one exception, we don’t spend a lot of time together outside the pool. I am teaching one of my friends to sew, and another is also a gardener, so we do have that in common.

I find it difficult to understand how anyone can be interested in watching sports on TV. I find it incredibly boring. I don’t know the people, and don’t much care about what’s going on. I generally don’t know who is playing in the World Series or even the Super Bowl. I don’t even watch the Olympics. Don’t want to watch them and don’t understand the hoopla surrounding them, although I do get that for a lot of people, it’s a huge deal they find imperative--- and they wouldn’t not watch.

I’m not into organized religion, and again, know that for many it is very much something that is important and takes up a lot of their time, including for some it being a very big part of their social life. I find it interesting intellectually to see that, but don’t find it something I would ever be involved with. I’m not sure what they get out of their devotions. We do our own thing spiritually but consider that to be a private practice, and don’t generally even share it unless asked specifically.

I don’t want to police anyone else’s lifestyle or life choices. I personally don’t find it any of my business or anyone else’s’ whether you are gay, straight, or somewhere in between. None of my business what you eat, what you wear, or what you believe, although I do find it incredibly sad that so many people in this world look at others as inferior or dangerous when they are just different, and don’t take the time to love and understand them.

Overall, I find people very interesting and like to find out what makes them tick. It may be that they intrigue me for the long haul, or it may be that I find out who they are and don’t need any further interaction. Then the conundrum is to figure out a way to tactfully withdraw without hurting anyone’s feelings.

All of this is going through my mind as I’m hand stitching the binding on a baby quilt. I’ve got decisions to make, and think I know the answers.

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