We’re not meant to do this alone.
You’re not meant to.
And yet contrary to our inner knowing that knows this to be true, we try. Again and again, we try. We’ve put on ourselves that we can do this alone. That it’s a sign of strength, a show of our power, to make it on our own.
I fall into this trap, too.
I think I can do it on my own, that I don’t need anyone else. But the truth – the real truth, not the truth we want it to be – always comes out in the end.
We never should have met. She was a Junior, I was a Freshman. In a University that neither of us intended to attend.
She had envisioned a college in the woods. I had never in my wildest dreams imagined myself in an entirely different country, in Los Angeles, California.
But it was there that we met.
I was waiting for a shuttle that never came. She was running late. She had a car, I didn’t. And so she offered to take me along with her to the new student orientation event at Santa Monica Beach.
It was there, on that 45 minute drive in traffic, that we created the beginnings of a friendship that would stand the test of time and distance.
She would be the same friend who would commiserate with me years later when heartbreak after heartbreak had left us both so open and vulnerable. She would become my safe place to cry, to share each other’s dreams, to do our greatest personal growth work with.
She accepted me and I accepted her. Unconditionally.
Even in spite of our differences, we shared a dream, a belief system that refused to give up on love. Fully believing there was someone out there who we wouldn’t be too much (or not enough) for.
And so it shouldn’t have been so surprising when we met the men who would become our husbands at exactly the same time, when we married just a few months apart, and when we had our first children within 6 months of each other.
There are no coincidences in connections like these. There are no accidents. I truly believe that, because I've seen it so many times in so many different ways.
Through over 26 years of knowing each other, the one constant of our friendship is the understanding we share simply by being in each other’s presence. Whether it’s over the phone or in person, there's a feeling of simply being known, of being understood without having to explain ourselves.
I’m writing about this because, until a few weeks ago, it had been 5 years since I’d seen her.
And yet within moments of her recent visit, I felt known. Understood. Once again.
The tears could come. The words could flow. Within the context of being loved and understood.
Words took second place. It was the feelings that came through. I can see for her what she can’t see. She can see for me what I can’t see. Together, we validate each other in ways that give us courage and strength and make us feel like the world is our oyster all over again.
She reminds me that we’re not meant to be alone, or relying solely on our husbands to be everything to all our deepest needs.
We need community. We need friendships. We need more beyond the belief in a single person meeting all our needs.
We need each other. We need others like us who can see us for who we are, who can love us for who we are, who can believe in us for who we are.
I know these kinds of friends, this type of community can be hard to find, but don’t ever let that keep you from finding them. They’re there.
I met a woman like that just yesterday as her children stopped to pet my daughter’s dog. We could have talked for hours (and we almost did).
When you're a feeler, you find your friendships through feeling. Light. Airy. Easy. That’s what you’re looking for.
It comes through a feeling more than any other way. When you find your tribe, your community, your people who love you, who celebrate you, who seem to know you even better than you know yourself, everything is better.
And most of all, our relationships with the men in our lives are better. We don’t find ourselves looking to get all our needs met from them. We don’t find ourselves looking for feeling from them when they have so many other things to give us.
You want him to complement you, not complete you.
And you want all those friends and members of your tribe and community to come together and complement you so that within all those relationship of varying kinds, you feel complete. In yourself, because you have so many rich resources to draw from.
Are you getting a feel for this picture I’m creating for you?
We’ve got to shift away from the be-all-end-all type of all encompassing (and all-engulfing) type of romantic relationship we think we want. The truth is that kind of relationship leaves you with nothing without him, and feeling so lost when he’s simply being himself.
Find someone to believe in you. Find your tribe. Find your village.
Find your community right where you are. In the things you’re passionate about, your creative endeavors, the things that bring meaning to your life.
You’re loved, Beautiful! Find the ones who are waiting to mirror the real you back to you. The ones who will celebrate you, share in your life in the highs and lows and in the everyday essence of you.
It doesn’t make you need him less, but it makes him want you more.
Because you can see yourself again. In the light of a true friend who loves, cherishes and celebrates you!
What do you think? Are you lucky enough to have someone who believes in you? Share your story with us in the comments!