Deep Friendship Healing In The Desert
I just spent a week of expansion and healing with my best friend, spirit sister and long time business partner. We spent time talking deeply and openly, partaking in plant medicine ceremony and in meditation in San Diego, Palm Desert and Joshua Tree. WE ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE than when we started the week.
For almost 15 years we've had a love/hate relationship that we haven't been able to heal due to lack of trust, our mutual sensitivity and our personal feelings of self-loathing in areas alike and different. We are so close and share so many similarities that our differences felt like something one of us had to WIN, surely one of us was RIGHT. I know some of you can feel me on this, the constant arguing about who was right or wrong (some arguments spanning years!) instead of just sharing our sides and perspectives, period. Our lives have been so different, of course we won't agree on everything! We wasted so much time trying to preach and convince when we could have been admiring our differences and gaining new perspective about the world through each other ideas, really getting to know each other and ourselves. So many years spent going on like this. Well NO MORE. We've got too much to learn and share, too much good work to do. As a way to honor our new found deeper friendship and always be reminded of what we learned in ceremony, we set some ground rules that have begun the process to rebuild our Trust in each other:
RELATIONSHIP ADIVCE FROM THE DESERT
1. We agree to always speak our Truth no matter what we assume the other will think (We found out we were mostly wrong in every situation where we tried to read each others minds). Truth comes from the heart and it's said with love. Judgment comes from our own self-judgment/hate and it's not said with love. Huge diff.
2. When we share our different perspectives it doesn't necessarily mean we are disagreeing with each other. Nobody has to be "right" or "wrong". (We found that we come to much better solutions and informed conclusions when both our sides are presented and heard as equally valid).
3. SELF -Love comes Before all. We can't possibly love each other if we don't love ourselves. This is not selfish. Taking the time and effort to make sure we feel our best and feel taken care of will make our relationship stronger and give each other the license to do so in turn. (We found putting the other before ourselves often led to resentment and burn out. When we feel good it inspires the other to feel good. People who love themselves love others more easily.)
4. If something doesn't feel, sound right or rubs you the wrong way, talk it out right away!! (We found that a major amount of our long time and deep seated assumptions and arguments we're due to miscommunication or avoiding the topic altogether).
5. Let the old stories GO! Living in the past and not allowing your perception of someone to expand will be the death of a relationship. Give up old stories because you yourself want the opportunity to grow and expand just like everyone else. (We found that we had actually been healing our friendship all along but were living with old patterns and stories about how we might act in a certain situation. By starting from scratch we're finding out how great we work together and how amazing each other is).
I now have a deep love for myself, not just the bright and shiny me but the shadow warty side of me. I'm a whole person, a fleshed character in this dance and so is my best friend. Our differences now excite us, we love sharing our different perspectives and where they come from. I'm getting to know my best friend and she is AWESOME! And she is getting know me because I'm not afraid anymore to speak my Truth. I trust she won't judge me, that she'll hold space for me because I now do it for her. Our week in the desert has healed relationships and sisterhood for many many generations before and after us. I'm passing on this knowledge with that hope that other relationships that need deep healing like this can find it. If there's ONE piece of advice I can give. Love yourself fully so that you can always speak your Truth.
(Also never engage in text arguments!)