We all go through rough patches. Some more intense and longer than others. If this is you or someone you love, then you might feel as though there are times in your day when you feel upset, triggered, distressed, angry, fearful or under attack/threat. It can be unnerving when these moments happen when we aren't ready or don't know they are coming. It can make us feel even more vulnerable/out of control/small. For example if someone mentions the name of the person or event inadvertently, which reminds us of something that we are actively working through, or feeling upset about. This can trigger a downward spiral of thoughts, feelings and emotions and can derail us quite quickly.
A very dear friend of mine ended our phone conversation last week by saying, I have the perfect quote for you, I heard it on the radio: "A relationship is: Two imperfect people not giving up on each other".
She was right. I loved this quote, it resonated deeply with me. And I of course I immediately thought about (one of my) most popular article ever on Estrangement, where we do give up on a relationship (here) and the concept of people in your life for a reason, season and a lifetime. But regardless of all of these variations on a relationship that I notice, this quote still spoke to me.
A long time friend of mine, Kate, is running a very successful start up business in hiring our vintage furniture for weddings and other ventures. It's been hugely huge to get set up, build clients and design the systems and infrastructure to support them. Sidenote, you can check out her business here. Kate asked me to write today about how she can switch off from the business not just at night when it's time to recover and re-energise, but on a bigger scale, like when she goes away for a holiday with her young family next week. She explains thatshe is consumed with her fledgling business and happily devotes every spare moment she can outside of parenting and other life duties.
One of my most popular posts was about the importance of finding your tribe. The idea is that when you find your people, you really are finding a space in the world that you belong to. And the thing about humans, is that you want to belong. You also want to be noticed and witnessed. Noticed refers to people paying attention to your cues, and witnessing is the all important supporting and empathising that comes most when the chips are down.
When you've got your tribe, you've got all three things. Belonging, Being Noticed and Being Witnessed. Of course, to belong to a tribe, you provide those same key elements back to your people. When this circle works, oh it's a beautiful and uplifting thing.
The thing is about life and growing up, is the inevitable stretch and strain that comes with working through those 'battle scars'. We are constantly evolving, and constantly growing, albeit in small, sometimes imperceptible increments. Humans are energised by learning and contributing their knowledge and skills, and as such it is inevitable that we are able to grow apart from one another.
Sometimes this happens in friendship circles, or acquaintance circles, and that's ok, it's normal. It can be trickier for us to manage when we are in a stable long term relationship, like a marriage, and our ultimate goal is to stay together.