We all want connection, don’t we?
As humans, we’re a social species wired for community and belonging. All throughout ancient history we lived in villages. We were part of tribes. We relied and were dependent on each other.
Back then, this all depended on the family you were born into, your culture, history, and language. And most of this still holds true today.
Except that today, in our modern world, we have more choices. We have more opportunities. We have greater access to different experiences and to different people. These factors play a big role in shaping our values, and how we grow, according to these values.
And how lucky are we to be able to have these choices?
At the same time, this luck often comes with a price. Maybe we shift and drift apart from those who were once close.
And sometimes the price is even bigger….and means judgement from those who are supposed to be our people. Sometimes it means jealousy. And criticism. So we find ourselves, in a circle we once trusted and relied on, to a circle that brings us down.
Do you know the quote, “You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” ? Crazy, right? I mean, if that’s true, the people part of your circle, tribe, or whatever you want to call it, have a significant influence in your life.
It’s hard to step back, and reevaluate our tribes. Some members have been there our whole lives. But the reality is, as we get older and grow, our values become stronger, and the only way we can truly thrive is by having a tribe in support of our growth. People who say, “I got your back.” People who understand us.
Photographs by Jenna Bechtholt Photography | jennabechtholt.com
This may mean letting go of relationships that have been part of our lives for a long time, maybe even your whole life. And as hard as it may be, this is totally ok. It’s actually healthier for us because these relationships are no longer serving us, especially if they’re toxic. And we don’t have to be bitter about releasing these relationships. There doesn’t need to be a war. We just simply wish them well and let the relationship go.
It’s okay to rebuild our tribes and form new relationships throughout our lives. We’re constantly changing, so it’s good to constantly be evaluating. It’s okay that the random girl you met in the grocery line becomes your new best friend and feels more like a sister than your biological sister.
It’s also ok to feel hurt about letting these relationships go. And to remember that just because you’re hurting or mourning the relationship doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right decision. Sometimes, and especially in my case, it was the absolute best, and only choice to make, but it didn’t make it sting any less. I think it’s also normal to go through a phase of possibly blaming yourself for the decisions or poor choices made by someone else. Maybe even thinking what could you have done different to maybe alter the outcome? Truth is, nothing. Most likely that person/people were going to make those choices anyway, so there’s no need to blame yourself. That just happens to be part of the process.
If we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with, why not spend it with the people who get us, who makes us laugh, who accept us, and who will support any crazy idea we may have? They may be related to us. And they may not be.
Community is important. The people we connect with our crucial for our happiness. When we find our peeps, let’s remember to hold them close and to cherish them, wherever they may come from.
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