One of the things I keep mentioning is accepting yourself as you are. There’s a slight caveat to this. You need to accept the people around you in that same way. Just like you, your friends, family, and loved ones are these great bright people, but they’re also just as flawed as yourself.
This was one of my hardest thing to learn. When I lived back in South Dakota, I had a lot of friends that fluctuated from time to time. It’s what I needed at that time to keep myself afloat. However, I treated them horribly in certain situations.
One of my friends was incredibly close with me after he broke up with his girlfriend. We would go out and drink together. We would hang out and watch nerdy shows together. We spent a considerable amount of time together. Then, one day, he forgot about me and spent the afternoon with someone else. I took this as a personal affront. He had chosen someone else over me. He forgot about me. I literally got over-dramatically angry and cut him out of my life. I was like a petulant child who had someone tell me, no.
That was me being me. That was me showing lack of compassion. That was me being unkind. That was me being rude. That was me being childish and angry. But it’s also all my fault. I wanted to be the one that he hung out with. I did not want to be relegated to second string. I had insecurities about myself that he was feeding into. I felt so incredibly lonely that instead of just accepting that for a time, I wanted to hurt someone else and make them feel just as horrible as I did. It was vindictive. I was so incredibly wrong, and it has taken me over a half a decade to realize that. It’s not an easy process to see yourself as the villain, but sometimes you are as much as the hero.
You have to expect your friends to be flawed and not perfect. You can’t just one instance define an entire friendship. I let my ego get the best of me to expect perfection from imperfect people. It placed myself as a superior friend than he was to me, and that is just really silly.
I had a friend contact me about some issues, and although I make jokes about ‘we gays judge, it’s our superpower’, I am trying my damndest not too. You don’t know people’s lives. You don’t know the kinds of obstacles that come up. You don’t know what led them to be by your side and friend, family, or enemy. You have to accept that they’re there for a reason and just accept them as is. Like many of the things I’ve been spouting lately, it’s a process, but once you get there, you and your friends will be in a much better place. The love will continue to flow beside that acceptance. And you’ll be better friends than ever.