My Deeper Feelings about Friendships, Love, and Meaningful Self-conflict

I am the type of person that no matter what happens between a friend and I (even if we break up), I never stop admiring them from afar. My deep feelings about someone are permanent — even if I sometimes feel rage against them, or complain about them — I still love them. I never stop loving people I grow close with. I’m talking about real friendship here — not casual shallow emotionally-dead acquaintanceships.  Once you become friends with me, that’s it. You’re in my heart for life. You show up in my dreams often. I never stop thinking about you and will always wonder how you’re doing — even after decades. It’s because I know who my friends really are on the soul-level.

Not sure how commonplace this is, but once I let someone in, when I love, I love them really deeply even if they are not part of my tribe.  Not only that, but maybe a part of me realizes that we didn’t so much break up because of us, but because our wounds didn’t get along. I don’t think any challenges between friends is always personal, but our wounds can wind up closing our hearts down anyway and reverting from a place of intimate connection and vulnerability to protection-mode. Maybe it is because it’s impossible, so much of the time, to separate ourselves from our past hurts. For example, when I energetically pick up that someone is thinking of ending things, I shut down, my heart closes up and another side of me takes over.  My heartbreak becomes patently obvious. I can no longer be gentle and vulnerable to protect me from getting even more hurt. Then that side of me triggers the other party’s protection-mode. The walls are up  …in both directions. Our inner children might be saying, “I have been through this trauma before and I will do whatever I can to never feel that way again”. Our traumas keep us needing to protect ourselves and we are locked in the past affecting how we relate to others. We inadvertently work to re-experience the old trauma so that we can heal in spite of other aspects of self not wanting to join the party and re-experience the old trauma, again. Ugh.

My last relational fallout really made it clear to me how fragmented I am on the inside. I have several parts of me playing roles and each part of me is not aware of the other, in those moments. There is so much conflict between parts of myself. I do terrible things to someone I am crazy about and then am left not understanding how it all happened and the shame and guilt is unbearable afterward. Why would I do something that is against my nature? Why would I sabotage something so amazing that was working out for me? I learned recently how little control I have over myself and how much healing work I need to do to integrate these parts so that I am more conscious. The same happens to me with food. I will binge eat and not realize what I was doing enough to stop myself or think about what I am eating. It is always after the fact that I gain awareness to what has happened. This unconscious aspect of myself is being highlighted recently and telling me what needs work. If this sounds painful and frustrating, it’s because it is. But I promise you that I am glad this is all happening. If I hadn’t these light-bulb moments, thanks to my unconscious behaviors, I would not have this golden opportunity to deeply look at myself.  This is why I often speak of the healing nature of relationships. And this might be why so many of us close up and avoid people altogether. Relationships teach us who we are and the path to self-awareness is no easy task….

On the level of the human experience, relationship-based hardship is something we might need sometimes. (Tough love?) It might be a call to carry us back to the past so we can learn who we are, where we need work — in order to facilitate healing the original wounding that caused the suffering in the first place. Soul-wise, however, I never stop loving and appreciating my friends. If they only knew how crazy I am about them, they’d explode. I know what we are doing for each other and it’s so magical.

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