Spiritual awakenings are painful. I want you to know that because I didn’t know that. It is painful, but so very worth it. What I did not expect was to lose so many people in the process of becoming who I am truly meant to be. My enlightenment came at a high price, and I was never prepared for how painful the process would be.
I lost so many friends and continue to lose friends. Some friends distanced themselves from me, and some friendships I stepped away from. In connecting with myself, I love my ability to “fake it.” I was no longer able to remain in friendships where I had to sacrifice my happiness. I made a lot of people uncomfortable by speaking up for myself and setting boundaries. I learned to speak my truth in a way that honored who I am and the love that I deserved.
A life-long people pleaser, I spent years making sure everyone else was happy while I was unhappy. I allowed people to disrespect me and belittle me because I had zero boundaries. I lovingly asserted myself and learned that some people are not comfortable with my boundaries, but those are not my people. When you live without boundaries, you live life empty and hurt relying on the validation of others to make me feel fulfilled.
I realized that I didn’t want to maintain superficial friendships with people who only took from me and never gave. What I experienced was so paradoxical because I felt such a deep and intense love for all beings and our shared human connection, but I also felt an intense need to remove myself from toxic friendships - friendships that made me feel alone and isolated in my thoughts, feelings, and interests. One night over drinks with a friend, she mentioned that a mutual friend of ours had been talking about me. “She thinks that you are super weird because of the spiritual stuff that you are into,” my friend said. Another friend told me, “When you told me that you were doing meditation and learning about reiki, I thought you were crazy. I guess I still don’t get it.” My friends no longer viewed me as the chill, easygoing friend who talked idly about people and things that didn’t matter. I was passionate and wanted to talk about everything I was learning and doing and how it was making me a better and happier person. In all of this, I learned something profound - I didn’t need my friends to understand it, I needed them to love me without judgment. If they weren’t able to love and support me, I didn’t need that friendship.
Of all the things I have learned, loved, and lost, there is one thing that fills my soul - by letting go of old friendships that didn’t serve me, I made way for friendships that made me feel authentic. I have higher standards for friendships and who is deserving of my love and energy. Last night, I had dinner with a friend who has remained my friend through everything. I realized that this is the gold standard for friendships - someone who sees me and isn’t uncomfortable with my feelings. We talked about the Law of Attraction, positive intentions, manifesting, and all of the things that make my heart sing.
My advice to you is this: sometimes you have to strip away everything to fully discover who you are.