Meeting Grace and Selflove

Hello Wild Ones 🌼🌼🌼,

I hope you are well and that great things are happening for you. My prayer is that you know how awesome you are. I am currently really proud of how awesome I am and the dope things I continue to do.

When we are growing up, so many things, happen to us, and we are bound to face some sort of trauma or learn some unhealthy behavior. I was recently talking to a friend about our similar bad experiences with a mutual friend, and we concluded that we need to have more grace. Then I got thinking about how much grace is too much grace. How much should I take from this person just because they are clearly struggling with something?

After a lot of thinking I came up with resolved into a few things. The first thing I realized is the I come first. As much as I wanted to keep being a good friend, I should never jeopardize my mental health for them. I can show grace but it should never be at my expense. I can be their shoulder to lean on but I can’t be their doormat just because they are struggling. Also, I have to come first because I cannot pour from an empty cup. I need to take care of me if I want to be a good friend.

I shouldn’t be afraid to correct them with love. I owed to them to point out how they behave, how it makes me feel, and what I think they need to do to get better. To be honest, I would have been okay with either keeping quiet or just avoiding them, but these past few months, I have been working on being more open about my feelings to myself and others. I can let them know how I can support them too and keep emphasizing that I care about them.

I also learn that it’s not my job to fix them. I have a tendency to want to fix people. There was a time I was mostly attracted to people who seemed to have something going on. I would move up and down for them. I have taken courses to be a better ‘Fixer’ before. I cannot fight their battles for them just offer encouragement and love from a safe distance. I can show up to the game to watch them play but I cannot kick the ball for them.

I reminded myself it’s not personal. I will not allow what they say to me to steal my joy. How they behave towards me is mostly about what is going on inside them. This doesn’t mean that I invalidate my feelings but it means I understand that sometimes the lashing out and rude remarks have nothing to do with me and what I did but how they currently perceive things.

I also figured that they are responsible for getting better. I owe it to them to be patient with them because they are struggling and offer the best support. But I cannot keep using excusing their shitty behavior towards me with the fact that they are struggling. They have an obligation to work on themselves and heal. It’s not their fault they were hurt but it’s their responsibility to pick up the pieces and move forward. I can neither do it for them nor can I stand by and accept abuse in the name of their trauma.

It is also okay to love my friend from a distance. At first, I felt guilty for choosing to reduce contact with them then I realized that it was for the best for both of us and our friendship. I made sure they knew I cared for them but stopped engaging with them too often. It doesn’t mean that I love them any less for choosing to keep away if their behavior is affecting me negatively.

How do you show up for friends who are lashing out in their struggle while still protecting yourself?

****************

Today’s Tip

**********************

With loooove and joy,

Jackie

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Great post! Just what I needed to read. Thank you. 🙏

    1. jackie says:

      Thank you. I am glad you got something from it. Sending love and light.

  2. judeitakali says:

    Hi Jackie, I’ve noticed you have these really tight decisions to make about some of your friends. I can relate and have so much to say about this. But my principal with friends is so different from yours but I’m glad I understand and accept yours coz you explain so well.

    1. jackie says:

      I am curious about what you had to say.

      1. judeitakali says:

        I’ll definitely share with you. I have a feeling it’s inevitable to talk some time.
        But I don’t think self love exclusively means “me first” and I think the true value in a friend is the ability to align some of your happiness with theirs. “Some”

        1. jackie says:

          True self love doesn’t always mean ‘Me first’ ; it means ‘me too’. And yes friendship is aligning happiness with theirs. This is no different than what I believe and I wrote about. I am curious what you thought I meant.

          1. judeitakali says:

            The tone leans into “me first” territory but if it’s “me too” then we aren’t too different 😊🤗

            1. jackie says:

              I guess at the end of the day, we can’t have the same systems of living. We do want what works for us and the people we love. As long as you are doing right by yourself and the people you love in the best way possible, the rest doesn’t matter. For me, I have to take care of myself before I take care of anyone so that when I do take care of anyone, it doesn’t come from a place of expecting reciprocation or neglecting myself. Sends out the message ‘Me too’ but in my way and it works. I bet your system is different and it works too.

  3. I had the same tendency of always wanting to help out, sometimes I would go above and beyond. But not long ago I learnt that I was becoming a “go to person” for some people, and I felt that my kindness was being exploited. I was swimming oceans for people who would not cross the bridge for me. I had to learnt the hard way that I owe nobody anything. I help out whenever I can, and where I feel appreciated.

    1. jackie says:

      I am so proud of you for realizing that you weren’t taking care of yourself as you showed up for yourself. The world has a tendency to expect people to neglect themselves for others especially women but the truth you really can’t take care of anyone effectively if you are don’t take care of you. ❤❤❤❤❤

    2. Nova says:

      Those of us with huge hearts are so rare. Your intention when giving is to do without strings attached… Likewise, no one wants to be used.

      1. Lúcia.M says:

        Very True.

I appreciate your opinion!!! Leave a comment!!