If there’s one thing that COVID has magnified for me it’s that having consistent and healthy connection is important. When we’re separated from people we care about and can trust there’s an ache that groans deep.
I realised in this time that disconnection doesn’t just occur when we’re physically isolated but also emotionally. It sounds like a ‘no brainer,’ but what I mean is people can still live in the same house (or not) and somehow things get bitter in the relationship.
This cuts deep for me and I could imagine for anyone who didn’t grow up having many (or any) friends. It cuts deep for anyone.
Many people have some kind of childhood experience that was at least unpleasant if not traumatic. I was that kid in primary school that walked around at recess and lunch, wishing the day to be over. The kid who got ‘picked on’ for not being like everyone else by peers and teachers.
I’ll be honest with you, during COVID I got really discouraged about finding or even keeping good friendships because I experienced yet another friendship breakdown, and there was nothing I could do about it but walk away.
Not long after, I began experiencing other friendships fade simply because what we once bonded over was no longer (such as a common workplace), as well as the unfortunate reality of last minute cancellations for catch up’s because hey, it’s just life.
These realities would probably not seem so hard to take if I had some kind of healthy and consistent friendship in my life right?
Well, to be honest I couldn’t tell you because I’m still learning a lot in this space.
I do know that our mindset impacts our perspective, and our perspective impacts our attitude, and our attitude impacts the way we do life.
I once read in a book called ‘Wired for Dating’ by psychologist Stan Tatkin, that the only way to heal from bad relationships is by being in good ones. I know the title of the book is in reference to dating but this piece of wisdom is relevant to all relationships including friendships.
Looking back, I learned that kindness, respect, curiosity and humility were part of a recipe for a good and healthy friendship/relationship. I learned these wise and wonderful ingredients through both healthy and unhealthy friendships (of which I played a part in) too.
There are still scars on my heart from the primary school bullies and whilst I’m still learning to walk away from them, I’m learning how to walk in love because love came and found me and His friendship lasts forever. It’s a tough gig being human and trust me, there are many days where I hate being human but there have also been many times in life where I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
And somehow, despite recent times, I have faith that there’ll be more moments like that in the future too.
For me and for you.
‘When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.’
About the Author
Hey, I’m human just like you.
And also like you, I have a story that I’m living out everyday (including the days that I just eat food and watch TV).
Sharing our stories keeps us connected, acknowledges our existence and value and encourages us to live on like nothing else can.
That’s what I’m passionate about - your story and mine.