during a short hike yesterday, i shared with my friend that sometimes i feel very alone in this world. it's been a thought i've been having recently, mostly triggered by some insecurity i have around wondering if i have "real" friends. (i'm defining "real" friendship as people who genuinely know and love me, and care for me - in big and small ways.)
what's interesting about the conversation is that initially, i thought i was questioning the commitment my friends have to me. but, in noodling on this topic longer, what's clarified for me is that i'm not really questioning my friends.
i'm questioning myself.
"am i a real friend to the people in my life?"
"do i really care about them and make genuine efforts to understand them?"
"am i willing to lay down my life - big and small - for my friends?"
it would be easy for me to sulk about not having "real" friends because that would put the responsibility on other people. but when i take on 100% responsibility for my feelings, what i realize is that i'm actually being invited to go deeper in my friendships - to wholeheartedly share all of me so that people can truly know me (and i, them). it's in truly knowing the other, that we are better able to meet them closer to the inner sanctuary of their heart, isn't it?
i wonder if my feeling of being alone dissipates as i become that "real" friend to others. i shall try and see.