The other week I had dinner with and met with a former co-worker/friend from years past. We had the dreaded falling out. We got along pretty great back in days when we worked together. I was a Teaching Assistant at the time, and she had a high paid HR job and was from a pretty affluent background. We got close over time and got to know each other better. But I always felt like “something” was missing from the relationship. One night, she decided it was time to end the friendship. I didn’t want that to happen. I was just a bit desperate to hang on, but I couldn’t deny her what she really wanted to happen and what she needed. I acted poorly afterwards. I felt like I was betrayed, hurt, treated unfairly. Over much time, I would see my old friend in passing, out in the community, at schools, at the store, etc. There would be a brief hello, or “Hey– how’s it going?” There was no hate. But deep down, I was still feeling curious even though it had been a long time since the…. “demise”. I still couldn’t help but hang on as to why our friendship had ended or what she thought about me. Honestly it kind of stuck with me, though I sometimes pretended like it didn’t bother me one bit!
So I was confronted with the out-of nowhere situation (Huh-loow- Drew– this is the Uni-verse calling…) where we came face to face, and she told me she was moving away. We exchanged the usual niceties… Then I oddly blurted out that “we should grab dinner sometime and catch up before you leave!” We nodded, said some goodbyes, and I thought, “OK– we’re done. *whew* I don’t have to see her anymore” and my causal request would have been ignored, like most of ours are,…right? (You know what I’m talking about… *wink*) But later that morning, I received an email from her confirming the invitation, *oh brother* but – I agreed. I agreed to go into it hoping there was something I was to learn from this. I didn’t know what to expect, and I tried my best NOT to predict any outcome. So dinner night came and we had great conversation, caught up on all things us, since we last spent time together. We parted ways, and wished each other well… I have great Love for her AND I saw it as a wonderful way to close another chapter in my book of life.
But that was not the end… The next day while getting ready for work, I was re-hashing our get-together, and thinking once again what I was supposed to get from this. I thought about how I acted and behaved when we did hang out a lot and I realized that I was not being my authentic self when I was around HER. I remember trying, but I sadly was not. I always felt like she was better off than me, had more than me, didn’t come from the same place as me, and judged me for who I was. I could not for the life and love of me BE WHO I REALLY WAS for fear of losing that friendship. Ahh–I didn’t feel like I was enough…. *lightbulb* Even bigger–I realized even further that she did not bring out the best in me. AND THAT WAS NOT HER FAULT. I just could not feel 100% comfortable with her to be myself. Because of my lack of worthiness, which brings me to my revelation!
Even though SHE did not bring out the best in me, there are other people, LOVING and accepting people in our lives that do! That bring out the absolute best of who we are, and who we are meant to be! Think about this for a moment,.. It’s not every person’s job who we meet to bring out the best in us! There are just people in the world who sometimes, we just don’t always connect with on the same levels. No matter how hard we try, even though they want to spend time with us, too, there is that something special missing. We can feel like we are being judged, (even thought we aren’t) and feel like we don’t measure up. We jump through hoops to get them to approve of us. In my case, I didn’t feel successful enough. But we keep these people in our lives because we think we “need” them to feel whole, to feel wanted by someone that we consider to be “of stature” or worth. But we lose self-worth and tell ourselves lies when we compare ourselves to others, because they have something we have always wanted or that “wow – they are so great, and they want to be with ME.” It is not part of who we are meant to be. It’s always our responsibility to feel our best, but we continue to give so much of ourselves and our power away to people who we know we cannot get that from, nor should we. And that does not make them bad people. NO– they are Love, too! It just makes them not right for us and where we are. We know intuitively when we SUPER connect with people, and when we don’t. We just don’t admit it to ourselves, then we end up losing so much of ourselves in these relationships, and sometimes we end up getting burned. Not because the other person was an a**hole, but because we didn’t own our own authenticity. Our own worth, our own self-love. We can always send out Love to them, but we should take a look at WHO and what serves US in the best ways possible,.. so that WE Love ourselves MORE and can serve and Love others even better AND– LIBERATE ourselves of the NEED to work so hard for everyone to approve of us!!
Choose to align yourself with people who bring out the BEST in you! The ones who enrich your life, that encourage and support your growth and for you to be the best you possible! You know who they are! Isnt that what we desire? Yes… so why wouldn’t we choose to have a support system full of Love where we can be and live the best life possible? So— Who in YOUR life brings out the BEST in you, And why aren’t you spending more time with them? Show em’ some praise in the comments below!
With ALL my Authentic Love,
Andrew “Drew” Parales is a Vocational Rehab Educator for students with disabilities in transition & employment, a school site program & events coordinator/trainer. Connect with Drew at: