Wednesday, September 28, 2016

To Be or Not to Be, That is the Question

Anxious.  I am anxious.  I know the expectations for my first blog and know I am capable of writing from the heart, but being vulnerable is not an easy task.  This morning at Mops I was reminded many times in various ways to be authentic and get real.  I thought I could get away with just writing a poem on what I learned about friendship (which I did below) and call it a day, but inside I knew I needed to open up and connect.

Sitting down and listening to Jen Hatmaker describe her experience with meaningful friendships, especially during the early childhood stage, was familar.  As a young mom, she was lonely and knew she needed friends.  She entered new friendships insecure and wanted to be well-received.   At first, she was inauthentic and more focused on impressing her friends instead of connecting with them.  But found out by opening up and being vulnerable, the frienships became more meaningful to both parties.  Her testimony showed me that being real is necessary if you want meaningful friendships and I do.

Reflecting on my friendships, I realize I am a different stage in each one.  Being a mom of younger children, I have been working diligently on making new friends.  Making friends has never been difficult for me, but sustaining them is.  Now, I am starting to see why.  Jen Hatmaker made it clear that sharing the worst moments can make friendships stronger.  I am self-deprecating by nature and have to work daily to stay positive.  I enjoy laughing at myself and will tell a friend exactly why I am a mess.  Although I dislike this trait, it may be a part of why my friendships are meaningful.  I am not afraid to be real about me or my life even at the first interaction.

The part that is a challenge for me is getting through the confrontations.  I agree with what Jen Hatmaker says about friendship and ultimately facing bumps in the road.  We will have tension in our relationships, but how we handle it can lift friendships to the next level.  According to Jen Hatmaker, by speaking up and letting your friend know you are wounded, you are letting her know you care about the relationship and are not willing to let the problem disintegrate the relationship.  

Confrontation is out of my comfort zone and I would do anything to avoid it.  Learning today that confrontation is necessary is a game changer in my life.  I dislike the idea of having to tell a friend what offended me, but if it is going to make the relationship more authentic and real, then it needs to happen.  I've decided taking the cowardly way out and being passive aggressive or defensive is no longer allowed in my life.  I have been taught a lesson today and I intend on growing and making more of my relationships meaningful friendships.

Meaningful Friendships according to Jen Hatmaker:
M. Mops brings us together, but the next step in making meaningful friendships is up to us.
E.  Every mom could use meaningful and consistent friendships especially during the early childhood years.
A.  Alone is how motherhood sometimes feels, but friends can help immensely.
N.  New moms may feel the need to be inauthentic.
I.  Instead of impressing our friends we should connect.
N.  No, it is not always easy and hitting a bump in the road is normal.
G.  Get real with your friends.
F.  Friendships that share the worst moments become stronger.
U.  Useful to take the risk and share what is going on in your heart and mind.
L.  Learn to be transparent and sincere around friends.
F.  Fork in the road in friendships are bound to happen
R.  Rough patches and tension are a part of all friendships.
I.  Insist on talking about hard times with your friend,
E.  Even if it means having to confront the problem.
N.  Necessary to speak up and be genuine.
D.  Defensive is not ideal in a confrontation; instead listen, show you care and learn what can be done to fix the problem.
S.  Saying what hurt you in a relationship will make it more meaningful.
H.  Healthy relationships will set an example for the kids. 
I.  Important that kids see meaningful friendships in your life.
P.  Put yourself out there and let your friend love and know you.


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