I would rather be alone 100 times than be in with the wrong friends. This was not always the case with me; I use to want to be part of the crowd at all costs, despite characters involved, despite conversations that occur, in fact; nothing was more important to me than making sure I did not feel lonely. Back then, any friend was a good friend. Then, something curious happened, something quite liberating and empowering.... I started liking my own presence, a lot! I know this change has to do with the many hours I spend running on the weekends, alone, pepping myself to keep moving. Despite the pain and discomfort, these pep talks while running made me start liking this person who lives inside, I was essentially rooting for myself. Another 'side affects' of liking the person inside has been valuing time a lot more, and not seeking the company of just anybody. I have come to learn that some people, despite their proximity, can make one feel lonely.
In long distance running you have to constantly check your body for pain, discomfort. Even the smallest twitch can mean something catastrophic in a few miles, therefore, you learn to really listen to your body's signals. You listen to your heart, your pain, your comfort level and any sign that may arise and immediately you make decisions, on the spot, that relate to these body signs. This form of intense listening has obviously now extended beyond my training and has applied itself to other aspects of my life. Also, as in running, comfort is now my ultimate goal every social situation. If something does not feel right in my heart, in my gut, I simply move away, no excuses needed, no apologies. I cannot express enough how liberating this has been for me. I say liberating because being accommodating at all costs had its price and it was exhausting. Liberating because I no longer exhaust myself. Now that the craziness has dropped away I can better see that love is, in fact, all around me, constantly filling me, providing for me in every way, even if I might not feel this at all times.
I hope to teach my children these lessons if not directly, then through osmosis. I hope they learn that being alone does not mean lonely. This is one of the best lessons a child can carry with them into adulthood, it allows you to be brave, stick to your convictions and to not compromise your ideals. I'd love for my kids to learn the idea that your body will always be much more honest than your mind and to therefore to follow it without question; those mammalian instincts are millions of years old, trust them. Trusting one's instincts and moving away from a hurtful friend or lover is a decisive, clear and definitive way of saying a big fat no to pain and suffering. I'd also love my kids to know that cultivating friendships that make you feel loved, wanted and cared for are worth their weight in gold and that they are worth good, solid friendships. Two great rules of thumb when it comes to relationships is, one, if you feel lonely in someone's presence, it's not for you.... run! Two, your body will always tell you when it's not right.
I feel so incredibly blessed. Love IS, in fact, all around me at all times. Love comes daily in the form of an unexpected hug, a warm text, a friendly gesture, a 'thank you', even a smile from a stranger can remind me of the love all around me. I have come a long way and I feel a tremendous sense of pride at all the work I've done to get here. Where a shy, apologetic and meek woman use to be now stands a confident, non-apologetic, brave, and fearless woman. Bring it.