Twenty years ago, I had dozens of friends. Or what I thought were friends at that stage in my life. In reality, none of those people were ones I could count on, or really become close with. Kind of like all those Facebook friendships you’ve probably developed.
Now I have a tiny circle of friends. But they are people that are there for me when I need them. They bring great joy to my life. And I can and do share everything with them. None of these people were in my life 20 years ago. And none of the people who were my friends 20 years ago are close with me now.
Well me of course. And more specifically, the way I view friendship, and the way I practice it. The people I used to hang out with shared my worldview. Which at that time was one of poverty consciousness, entitlement, and victimhood. We were all professional victims, who gathered together to commiserate with and regale each other with the stories of our trials and tribulations.
The people who are close to me now also share my worldview. Which is one of abundance, that sees prosperity as a value-for-value exchange. We all have a desire to travel a path toward our highest good. This includes a thirst for knowledge, ongoing development, and living a life of integrity with our values.
If you have someone that’s best your best friend since you were kids, I envy you. But if you have all the same circle of friends you has 20 years ago, I worry about you.
Is it possible that you lucked into a large circle of amazing people who all wanted to seek a path of enlightenment and growth? Possible. But probable? No. Most people surround themselves with people who give them permission to stay the way they are.
Most personal development includes organic growth in the circle of people you are closest to. You don’t necessarily lose old friends as much as you drift apart because of changing goals, interests, and worldview.
What about you?
Have your friendships and relationships evolved over the years? Did you “outgrow” some people and attract others operating on a higher consciousness to take their place? Or have you been static with the same group for a very long time? It’s worth some thinking about…
Mine have definitely evolved a lot, but I am one of the lucky ones to have a few that I have been friends with for 17 years now (Two in particular). I know that is rare and I cherish it very much.
I also LOVE the new friends that I have made since I decided to not care one bit about what others think of who I am over the last 2 years.
I've got some good childhood friends.. pretty cool to have a few over 40 year friendships.. but always open for new ones.. one of the myths I'd like to explode is that men are incapable of close friendships.. all we can do is punch each other in the arm and never open up true feelings.. while women have this great sisterhood and deep friendships.. not been my experience.. most women I've met rarely have friendships that last more than 5 years and they fall out over the stupidest and pettiest of things.. I know it's not real, but just look at those stupid Housewives series on Bravo, I've never watched one, but even if 10% of it is real, you get what I mean.. all for more compassion and more open mindness people..
Thanks, Randy. This post is very timely for me. The current lockdown has forced me to look clearly into a mirror that reflects my self-image. Prior to lockdown, I was a master at focusing on any distraction that would prevent me from looking into the mirror. The images that are emerging are often difficult for me to look at. They are brutally honest images of lack, mistrust, deep anger, sadness, and fear. The process is painful. Also, it's one of the best growth experiences of my life to date. As I hold my gaze steady on my unflattering images, I begin to see through them to the strong, resilient, worthy me that's buried beneath, what I choose to call, the imposters. As I move past each image, I come to terms with the fact that many of the people in my life have been there to help keep those toxic images alive. I am slowly letting these people go. I'm riding this out with excitement and love for the person I am becoming. You, the life you've led and are living, your intelligence, wicked humor, and generosity have been and continue to be beacons that light my path. Thank you.
Hi Randy, Once I was able to see through people I realised most of my old friends from college always had a canny knack of being around to benefit themselves, ouch, now I have NO friends!, only joking, I have 2.. Graham uk
There are four individuals that I've had friendships with for more than 2 decades.. 2 of which were there for me after christmas, and still are there for me.. one wasn't at all (friends with the entire family actually there) thus far.. and one I chat with via facebook occassionally.. we'll see where things are at a year from now..
Brilliant post! Who we are for some is too much for others. I have one wonderful woman in my life who has been my friend since we were in third grade. She continues to inspire and teach me; and has said I do the same for her. My high school sweetie-turned husband has been forefront in my life for over 40 years. Over the past ten years, I can say, with certainty, that "I know who my true friends are" when experiencing adversity, family moves (from state to state to another country and back), and who I chose to call friends (my term for them is framily). Some people 'grow out of friendships' for different reasons. I think that's okay and healthy. Some kids never grow up! This quarantine time has been an opportunity to reconnect with high school and college friends, more than any other time for me, and has taught me about my extrovert self: I can stay-in-place when necessary, and rely on social media for virtual closeness. Randy, you and I met ~ 10 years ago, and I hope you know you can count on me as your friend too.
My friendships have definitely evolved over the last 10 years. For the better I believe. We change and evolve. I had a friend since high school, about 14yrs ago she suddenly stopped communicating with me--no idea why. But when I look back on it, that was someone I would complain with and she would complain too---so! it's a friendship that I do not miss.