I made a huge change these last few months in a few relationships in an effort to right some wrongs but also to change my life. I said I’m sorry to a couple of people I shut out of my life. When I did that my eyes opened and I saw that I had a couple of patterns in my life that needed to be handled. I was recently taught not to write about something while you’re going through it but to wait until you come out of it.  This discovery wasn’t an immediate process which is why it has taken so long for me to write about it. (I hope you can forgive me) I hope that sharing my journey will inspire you to make some changes in your life and to take a look at how one habit really can feed many more without you even noticing. I will be breaking up this journey into a series of posts about how my first step towards change led me on a road to growth that I never would have expected. 
There came a moment recently when I looked back on the past friendships I have had with women. I decided to look into this because every friendship I could remember ended with me being hurt and all alone. I blamed all of them for the reasons that we didn’t talk. It was never my fault. I think that is what first pressed me to dig deeper into this cycle of broken friendships in my life. I wanted to know that it wasn’t my fault. What I discovered shocked me, and led me on a journey of self discovery and growth that I never saw coming. 

I could remember them all starting off great, in fact in most of them I called that girl my “best friend”, we anticipated spending our lives together, hanging out all the time, and planning holidays for our families.  Somehow those friendships always died off, I let them go, and I hardly even cared. When I looked back, often times it was with such animosity toward the other person for breaking us apart. The anger and hostility I looked at those women with was so wrong. I was misplacing my anger, ignoring what had actually happened and creating a problem in my head where they were the only one at fault.

When I took a deeper look at this the first thing I noticed was that I have a pattern of holding a grudge when someone hurts my feelings and because of hurt feelings I always end the relationship. When I looked into the fact that I held grudges in every friendship that has disappeared in my life, I began to notice that whenever anyone would give me criticism I would instantly retract from the conversation. This discovery showed me that in my female friendships when conversations led to what I could change or do differently it would inevitably lead to me removing myself from the relationship, and slowly ….from their life entirely.

Occasionally I will give hard advice, and because we are taught that the truth hurts rarely do I think about how what I say makes the other person feel. The problem with this was I judged other people on their results or lack thereof and I judged myself on my always good intentions. I could give advice here, there, and everywhere, but when it came to taking advice in my own life, no one could advise me. Not without hurting my feelings. The thing is, most of those comments that I let hurt me were meant for my good. Friends that truly care about you only want the best for you, they may say things that hurt us, or force us to look at ourselves through a not always beautiful light. We are all human. We all have imperfections, and though we know that, we hardly ever let our own faults be exposed by others. We want to shield our own eyes from our failures and shortcomings all while pointing out everyone elses. 

As friends we need to encourage one another and offer up advice. We are meant to go through life together, but we have to be open first to the idea that we may be doing something wrong. That is the true secret to friendship, letting go of our own expectations and self thought. Releasing ourselves from the false perfection that we look upon ourselves with. The first lesson I learned was how to let go of the past, and rise up from the ashes of past failures. Deciding not to continue making dramatic decisions, and growing into a woman that puts her self worth into something more than exposed imperfections.
"For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart."
Ecclesiastes 4:10-12

"Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye?"You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."
Matthew 7:3-5

Make it your habit not to be critical about small things.
Edward Everett Hale 

Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart.
Phil Jackson 

Don't dwell on what went wrong. 
Instead, focus on what to do next. 
Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.
Denis Waitley 

Stay tuned for the rest of the series on self growth
Speak Life- Jessica Smith Wallace


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