With friends we’ve had for a long time there’s decades of history that can provide some stability, an anchor for the times when we’re adrift and in between who we have been and who we are next becoming.
They can help us remember which pieces of ourselves we wish to keep while we release fragments that no longer fit into our new identities. It can be very helpful to have such people in our lives if they can give us breathing room to figure our new self out and accept when we know we don’t have it all sorted. When we have more questions than answers, but we know we have to follow the breadcrumbs our souls placed on the path for us to find our way back to ourselves. If these friends can be there with us the when we’re in “the in-between,” they are to be treasured.
And sometimes, perhaps more often than we all wish to admit, some of the people we have longstanding connections with tie us to the very same stories and beliefs about ourselves that we are trying to let go of and transcend. They become constant reminders of our limitations. They cheerlead for our smallness instead of encourage expansion and unapologetic living. Instead of helping you embody who you were born to be, they bind you to who you were. The bold ones actually heckle and boo, threatened by your desire for a more spacious existence.
We shouldn’t have to balance being authentic with being familiar, but we do. For a while we sit at the crossroads. We think we can do both: have these people in our lives and embrace the new territory our souls have invited us to claim.
I remember doing this dance, being the old me in some relationships and being the new me in the others. Playing down accomplishments when I really want to shout my excitement. Comparison complaining instead of admitting that life is pretty damn good and getting better. Gossiping when I would have preferred to talk about the book I was reading.
Talk about tired. It’s hard being two people and it can’t be sustained forever. At some point we have to choose. Pick a path or we’ll die at the crossroads, never having connected with the new people who await to embrace this version of ourselves. So which way will you turn, back toward the old you or toward the new you? Will you choose to be anchored to the past or trust the unknown?