I always wonder!
Life events are a result of relationships. And I have always wondered how it would feel to know how an event would turn out even before it occurred. I have this habit of imagining the various scenarios that could play out in my anticipation (‘an active imagination’ you could say). I would ask myself, ‘what could be the worst thing that could happen as this event unfolds? I am not sure if this is in a bid to prepare myself or I am just anxious, or I just want to assure myself that I have everything covered. This happens a lot and I wish I would just let my mind be, you know. It’s not like I could affect anything with this mental exercise.
This phenomenon is applicable to special events like going for an interview or writing a test, a visit to the doctor, wedding ceremony and some other things my mind chooses not to regard as trivial (the volume of activity going on there! #overwhelming).
The disturbing thing about not knowing the future may not be our preparedness (or the lack of it) but rather the uncertainty of our reactions. In other words, no matter how prepared you are for an event, you may never know beforehand what your reaction (or what I like to call ‘in – situ behavior’) will turn out to be. Having said that, we are expected to have some level of self control though.
I really don’t want to pretend to know some philosophy by telling you of how your state of mind affects your reaction, or how your outlook on life determines the depth of emotion you will attach to events as they unfold. That will be pointless and totally unrelated to the focus of this article because there are always ‘factors affecting’. I do want to say that I wish very much that I had applied this practice to a very important area of my life when I was much younger (or naive). My relationships!
There is the good and there is the not-so-good relationship!
Yes, I wish I was able to see where I am now (my future as at that time) with respect to the people in my life, years ago when these relationships defined who I was and how I lived my life. Oh, how I would have reacted differently. From parents, sisters and brothers (other members of the extended family inclusive) to friends.
I find that from where am sitting now, writing this article, there are relationships that have stood the test of time without so much of an effort on my part. They just loved you and accepted you for who you are. They took all your inadequacies (or ‘shit’ if you like) and just learned to live with you in their lives.
On the other hand, there were terrible relationships in which ‘you spent and was spent’! Today they are nowhere to be found. So while we are allowed to make mistakes and allow our true friends to be discovered naturally (with all the drama attached), it’s time to define and establish the course which natural selection should take. We should define who stays in our lives and to what level they get to influence us.
Pick the good ones!
This isn’t me promoting snobbery and I am definitely not undermining the place of unconditional love in our relationships. I am also not implying that we can’t live peacefully with everyone that comes our way. What I do want is for us to establish the need for, and thus create checks and balances in our relationships to avoid a lifetime of meaningless friendship. And remember bad communication does corrupt good manners!
So yes! If I could have seen the future (now) back when friends defined a considerable part of my life, I would have made better choices. I would have invested my time and resources in friends who had love, purpose and passion for life (and for me of course). And yes, I wish I had a glimpse into my future, for I would have known not to bring some friends aboard my ship of life because they almost sunk it!
Do our friends really have a hold on us? Are they a major or minor factor in how we turn out in life? What has your experience been with friends?