Here For The Beer?

Friends and family are so important, provided these relationships are healthy ones. These relationships help us feel bolstered, supported, less alone and enrich our lives in so many ways.   As people couple up, they tend to spend far less time with friends.  Add kids into the mix and you can feel even more estranged.  While coupling and having life sort of take over and back-seat your friends is part of the nature of things, it is also something we must be mindful of by working to carve out time for our near and dear.  Maintaining friendships and healthy relationships helps our self-esteem and keeps us balanced too.  Whether that’s a monthly friend lunch or beers after work or what have you, it is important to maintain your healthy friendships.  Healthy friendships are a necessity.  But what about codependent and abusive relationships?  They can be subtle like a light breeze through a doorway or a full-on hurricane. We all need a shoulder from time to time or a shared belly laugh.  We are driven to socialize and feel communion.  But co-dependent abusive relationships are not worth time or effort. The best way to spot them is by asking yourself how you feel after an exchange with the individual. Are they so wrapped up in themselves they forget plans with you or never bother to ask how you are doing because it’s all about them?

My mother came from an abusive background and it turns out we had a very codependent relationship.  And this book by Melody Beattie, Codependent No More, set me free of that.  It also ended a codependent relationship I was in with a man that exactly mirrored how my mother treated me.  For the very first time, I could see how I had played the victim and been manipulated and I could read it in 5 minutes in somebody else.  Healthy relationships always give and take and the relationships are not about getting something from you but looking out for your best interests.  Do you look out for your own best interests?

Some folks in your life, no matter how superficial or how deeply entrenched they appear to be, are just there for the beer.  And Facebook has made this far worse.  Yes, FB is great for those out of town friends and ex-colleagues to catch up with that you otherwise wouldn’t or only do so very sporadically, but FB has also taken place of actually seeing people!  If you have a car and live in the same city, you should connect physically periodically and talk live, do lunch, have a glass of wine together and catch up, have real conversations that you really cannot have on FB because on Facebook, it seems that most people get on there to hear happiness and flowers. There is only a very short attention span for any real dramas.  Most aren’t on there for serious issues and private messaging is cumbersome and wordy at best. The same thing applies to Facebook that applies with emails.  Much can be lost in the translation.  The bottom line is that anyone that lives in your city that’s also on FB should be able to see you a few times a year, and physically visit or it really isn’t much of a real friendship, is it because much of FB is fake.  Fake news!  It’s called gas and a car key if the friendship really means anything at all. With that, I want to talk about self-sabotage.

Most of us create some kind of self-sabotage from time to time, whether it’s losing it with a coworker, deliberately stretching your personal finances too tightly, dating a loser or listening too intently to the wrong people. The GREAT news is that each day provides us with abundance and opportunities to co-create change. As we end this year, think about ways of being that no longer serve your highest good. Are you trusting people that always let you down? Working at a job that perhaps pays well but drains your soul? Living someplace that depresses you rather than uplifts? Keeping what’s in your best interest at arm’s length rather than embracing joy? Stuck in a rut? Feeling conflicted? My neighbor Dennis commented that he often feels misled because he assumes the way he cares for others means he gets that level of care back and that’s not always so. I’m generally an open book but one of my adult tastes of such was when I had two family members with an emotional breakdown and nobody to talk to. I reached out and was simply told ‘We don’t do well with mental illness topics.’ That couple immediately went to the balcony of our lives rather than a seat in the front row where I had thought they were well placed. I was wrong. Guard your heart and test friendships mettle. You can do this while still being open and compassionate but also judicious. Coupled with self-sabotage comes the blinders we also wear. What patterns happen for you? Are all your friendships on FB or do you have real ones?  Are those relationships truly supporting or downers? Do you find yourself always giving, such as supporting a friends shop by buying stuff but not getting any ROI?  Do you have a habit of overcommitting, promising and not delivering or is someone in your life doing this to you?  Do you keep forgetting plans or have someone who consistently forgets you?
I was laid off and had sold my car so that I would not have a car payment while being unemployed.  A friend who is well off offered to give me a good working vehicle he wasn’t using and, as he put it, didn’t want to bother taking it to Carmax to sell.  He said ‘It’s yours’ and that he would bring it by that week.  I followed up with him about the car, 4 times asking if he was serious and each time he said yes.  I am still not over the fact that on FB he told everyone he had given me a car yet the reality is I am still on foot.   I cannot tell you why anyone would promise something and not deliver but I can assure you that this behavior is absolutely toxic.  I didn’t ask him for anything, he just knew my situation and made a great and grand gesture.  I actually cried tears of joy.  I had bought cars for other people and never once have I had someone buy me a car in my 58 years.  How karmically sweet to finally be gifted in this manner!  And then it never materialized. 

Surround yourself with people who mean what they say and follow through on promises.  Honor the good people in your life by following suit.  Don’t wait for the car to show up!  Or any other empty promise! Move on!  And please respect yourself enough to never make empty offerings and end relations with those in your life who do.  When you find yourself in repeated codependent relationships, know that while you can absolutely change this by removing those blinders, it also requires some diligence, particularly in the beginning as you are learning about the old patterns, how to spot and stop them while learning new and healthy ways of being.  So in addition to the book above, I also highly recommend this daily meditation which has always seemed perfect for the day, whatever page I open it to.  Melody Beattie The Language Of Letting Go


Some people are just here for the beer.  They are there because something better has not yet come up so they are hanging out with you temporarily.  They may like your beer and may enjoy your company when it suits them but they are not filled with compassion and loyalty towards you personally when help and friendship is really needed.   

Do the same stories keep coming up in your life? If so, and you don’t like the story, change it! Where you see repeated abusive relationships or financial constraints or any other negatory pattern, there’s a spot to start working on. Honor yourself by acknowledging the needed nudge. We all have our personal pet bitches and gripes and crap that happens. As long as you’re seeking ways to minimize drama in your life ( and also drama for those around you) and working to create goodness, you’re on the right path. When you begin to see things frazzle and fray, it’s time to pour a cup of tea and reassess. This life is short. This year nearly a wrap. Live your best life in 2019.

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