One of the keys to true friendships is to not judge your friends too harshly. It’s okay to be honest about differences – but you can do so without judgement. Here’s how.
Note: This is a guest essay by Sorrenta Stuart
Somewhere deep inside all of us, we hold stories, memories and ideals from our past that are not the beautiful pictures we wish they were. Often times, we do not share these thoughts because we may become too vulnerable, too exposed, too open to more rejection and more pain.
Wait…there is a cure for this, or at least a buffer.
What if we all had one best friend we could go to in order to share these fears – past and present?
No ladies, I am not talking about your boyfriend or your spouse. I am talking about your very best girlfriend. Not the one Facebook, with the perfect pose at your Holiday gathering. Not the one who keeps ahead of all the current trends.The Real One.
I hope your very best friend is a woman who accepts you. I hope she is a woman who knows your authentic self, your core, your true north. I hope she reads your mind by the sound of your hello on the other end of the line. I hope you know when a hug is more powerful than any of your words. I hope you have the ability to sit in her pain, in silence, and just be.
It’s okay to be honest about differences. But you can do so without judgement. You can express how you feel so your words show up as love and concern – not disrespect and belittlement.
If you have this kind of true best friend, The Real One, already in your life, nourish this friendship.
Both of you.
Do not put parameters on each other.
I promise you this: If you stay open minded and do not judge your friend, you will learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible. Draw on each others’ strengths, encourage and support one another and most of all love each other completely. Remember that she loves you back, no matter what.
You know so much more of her book, so much more than her cover story or preface. You know every single page, the untidy ones that she does not share with the rest of the world. The ones she tore out because they were too painful to keep. Keep your book sacred and coveted, carry it with you always, and utilize it to live beyond your fears. If you fall, she will catch you.
How do I know this? Because I have been blessed with the freedom to feel safe to be myself with my best friend – time and time again.
This is a guest blog by Sorrenta Stuart. Sorrenta is a MFT who runs a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also a therapist for Talkspace, an app that integrates mental health into consumer health technology. Sorrenta has spoken on panels across the US regarding the stigma of mental health illness; her goal is to represent therapy as a valuable tool to our society. You can find Sorrenta on her yoga mat or click here.
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