I have always been blessed with great friends but I have also had a few frenemies in my not so distant past. Frenemy: people who masquerade as friends who often betray, be-little and abuse you – usually telling you that you should “lighten up” after they crashed your car, slept with your boyfriend or poached your promotion.
I have a pretty good sense of self-esteem but there was always a voice of self-doubt when betrayals occurred. There must be some major deficiency if a person used and abused me – meaning I must deserve it in some way. Or I must not be worthy of love if someone came into my life for a while and then left and usually with something “borrowed”. Or maybe I am completely stupid that I can not see this coming. It turns out maybe I was just not clear.
You see I do believe in the goodness of people and sometimes to my own detriment. I do believe that within all of us is the desire to feel and give love. I do believe people want to do good in the world and most of the time are just too self-focused to realize they are being inappropriate and hurtful. I do believe in the human heart. But I took it too far. I allowed poor behavior because I thought it was more compassionate to “be nice” than “clear”. I thought being a “spiritual” person meant I should save people (hello ego) and always offer them support no matter what. When did becoming a doormat equate to being spiritual?
Ahimsa, the Yogic ideal of non-violence always starts with our self. We believe we are being more kind when we tolerate bad behavior but we are actually deeply wounding ourselves AND not giving the “abuser” the opportunity to move past their toxic behavior. Compassion means doing what is most right in the moment and sometimes that means saying bye-bye.
I asked my friend once why he stayed with someone who was mean and hyper-critical of him. He said, “Who has the energy?”. I totally got that one. A few months later though he met the love of his life and had the energy after all. He saw what he really wanted and that was so clear and compelling that love triumphed over lethargy.
People ask me this question all the time, “What should I do with my friend who is mean/rude/abusive/sabotaging/negative?”.
I say get clear.
Be clear on what and whom you want in your life.
Be clear on what is acceptable and appropriate for you.
Be clear that you can choose the friends, colleagues, employees, employers even businesses you support by how they make YOU feel.
If you want to feel good then align yourself with people who make you feel good. Give much less time and talk to the people who don’t make you feel good – we usually do the opposite of this by the way. We bitch about Bob who is always disappointing us when we should just stop taking his calls and go hang with Bill. Being with great people will also GIVE you energy and permission to shine your own light. And as you shine more shiny happy people will attract to you. By realigning our focus and our own thoughts toward the wonderful people in our life the frenemies tend to drop away naturally.
Recently I have gotten very clear that I seek to attract and be with loyal, non-judgmental, reliable, loving and motivated people. I have met so many amazing new friends in the last year. So I say thank-you to all my frenemies who helped me get clear…I hope you are enjoying my best-est sweater wherever you are.
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Shasta Townsend: E-RYT 500, Reiki Master, Cultivator, Creator Balanced Life Yoga & Host of Vivid Life Radio show Possibility 101!
A celebrated transformational leader and a leading pioneer in embodied spirituality and Yoga, Shasta has inspired hundreds of people through her breakthrough methods for awakening and empowering your inner voice and divine power. Director, founder and senior teacher with Balanced Life Yoga, she delivers public talks, seminars and trainings on evolution and empowerment. She draws on a wide variety of techniques including Yoga, Shamanism, meditation, energy healing, coaching and the Law of Attraction. She is especially appreciated for her passionate way of allowing individuals to make sense of their world and embodied, holistic means to become the change they wish to see.
As early as in her teenage years, Shasta embarked on her journey as a spiritual explorer which led her to India, where she studied yoga, meditation and energy healing. She has studied with many remarkable mentors and she has undergone thousands of hour’s intense practice of meditation and spiritual studies. Shasta has taken every opportunity to become adept in her field through her own practice as well as through extensive training in Yoga, group dynamics, meditation and spiritual counseling.