We Will Always Be Friends
I remember a time a while back when I felt disconnected from a certain friend. We hadn’t argued or anything, we just didn’t have the same level of communication we used to. Even when we saw each other it wasn’t like before. Plus she didn’t react the same way. She usually is very light and bright and funny. It got me wondering. I knew she was having a hard time with certain things including being burned out. But still it was weird, and inwardly I reacted emotionally. She felt distant and I think part of my reaction was fear of losing her. I had lost really close friends before and I wasn’t sure whether I could take that another time. After having felt like this for a while she called asking if I had time to come visit her, and so I did. It turned out that in the meantime her life had taken on a new direction. She was pregnant with her second child, quite unplanned, and that changed a lot. Plus because of her health state prior to the pregnancy, it was taking quite a toll on her and it wasn’t easy for her.
It was really good to spend time with her. We had the chance to give each other updates on our lives. It made me feel closer to her again. I didn’t tell her about my emotional reaction, but I told her I had missed her and had felt disconnected from her. She had felt quite the same and expressed that, saying she was happy to have me visit her.
I still remember how happy I felt afterwards, relieved that everything was okay again. I saw that my reaction was mine, created from insecurities and life experiences I carried. Again I realized that we truly create our own emotions, despite how we often express it in our language that somebody else made us feel that way!
The solution to feeling all this mess inside was to be responsible for my own creation as well as being vulnerable. I didn’t share every piece of my reaction, because I was aware of me having created a whole lot of it by thinking from a worried insecure place. What I did share with her was my initial emotional reaction to the fact that our relationship was changing: That I missed her and felt disconnected from her. By admitting my feelings I exposed myself. She could have dismissed it; she could have judged it as ridiculous. Instead, my words invited her to express quite the same feelings. It brought us closer together.
Now about one and a half years later we are still really good friends. Looking back I can see how the situation I just shared prepared us for the change in our relationship that was still ahead of us back then: The child turned out to be twin girls! She and her family moved further to the outskirts of Munich, which means fewer opportunities to see her. She is extremely occupied with her three beautiful kids. There are times when we hardly talk because life is busy for both of us. But each time we do connect I can feel the trust and closeness we are able to have because we keep on being vulnerable and open to each other.