I just watched this Ze Frank video (the man has a way with words!):
It got me thinking about friends, love, and the relationships therein.
My relationships are the absolute most important part of my life. I made a list of priorities several weeks back. There are seven items on the list. Friends are at the very top. My relationships are me. Maybe this isn’t healthy, but I define myself to a great degree by the people in my life. I am pieces of them. I watch the way they interact with the world and then I try it. Sometimes it works for me, sometimes it doesn’t. Someone new will enter my life and I’ll pick up some of their patterns and blend them into the others. I am my friends.
They are me too. I don’t have lots of intimate friends. Because, in order for me to form that connection, I have to welcome them into my heart. It takes time to grow a new place for them, and it also gives them access to the inside of me. I trust easily. Because my friends are all trustworthy. Once they are in, though, they are a part of me, an extension of me, and caring for myself means caring for them. And sometimes that makes me sad, because there is still the physical boundary, and I can never know them like I know myself. I cannot ever touch their mind, feel their soul. Sometimes I feel locked inside myself.
In putting these thoughts into words, I now realize that being bad to myself is also being bad to them. I’m not always a great friend to me. It’s the one relationship I cannot end. So, I have to accept, but it’s so much harder to accept myself than to accept all of you.
We’re all polyamorous. We all love more than one person. I identify as poly, while many of you don’t, because I don’t classify that love. If I love you, I love you. That’s what it takes for me to consider you a friend. It has to be love. That’s why family isn’t innately important to me. Love is cultivated, it does not spring forth from a barely discernible genetic connection. I love my mother, my siblings, not because they are family, but because they are my friends. Those friendships have certainly evolved over the years.
Evolution and transition are another key component. There are no deal breakers for me. Once you’re in my heart, you have a space that is yours alone and you will always fit there. If I love you, it means I will fight for our relationship. Most of the time, that just means collaborating to consciously and thoughtfully shape our relationship into something that is mutually beneficial. I’m not opposed to ending a relationship, if it is the right thing for us to do, but that doesn’t mean the love doesn’t still exist.
Love is eternal, love is infinite. That’s what it means to be my friend. If you are my friend, thank you. You are the most important part of my world. Don’t hesitate to remind me of that.