REI is one of my favorite stores- possibly in the world. Not only does it contain virtually everything I will ever need for the outdoors (including some amazing cookware that we recently discovered), but the downtown flagship store sports a rustic city combination that always seems to fill me with inexplicable joy down to my very core. I swear sometimes I hear angels singing.
I'm currently sitting in the Starbucks housed in said REI location while listening to a combination of funky 70's music and 20's jazz. My soul is happy :) The saxophone is pumping out a tune that makes me want to bob my head whilst alone in public, and since I don't care about the anxious and odd glances of the people around me, I can't help but groove along like the bobble head on your dashboard, while I sip my teeny sample of a peppermint mocha. Yum!
I came here to this Starbucks this morning to meet up with some new friends that I met at a retreat about 6 weeks ago. It was so great to have chilled out girl time. One of my friends shared with me her woes of another friendship that has gone slightly sour. You know the story: Two long time friends come across a subject of conversation where opinions vary greatly. Friend #1 thinks she is right and feels the need to convince Friend #2 of her mistaken ways. Friend #2 is perfectly comfortable with disagreeing as she has already worked out her perspective prior to this conversation. Friend #1 says slightly nasty and degrading comments toward Friend #2, and Friend #2 wonders what happened because up until this point she felt that their relationship could withstand anything, including disagreements such as these. You guessed it: I met with Friend #2. Among our many rabbit trails, we talked about the remarkable phenomenon of having relationships that are not what they appear to be at first sight.
In this instance, I think that both persons are at fault. Friend #1 has a history of being the parent friend, and Friend #2 has a history of being the child friend. Both have enabled the other's behavior, finding that it is something they are comfortable with. Oddly enough, when Friend #2 decides to grow up, suddenly the relationship becomes strained. The verse “honor your father and mother” (Exodus 20:12) usually applies for parent-child relationships, but oh wait both women are neither!
I am so proud of my friend who has decided that it is time to take a step back and re-evaluate what this relationship is saying about her and the other person. She has decided to seize the opportunity to press on to the inward journey that God is clearly calling her toward. Courage begins with that first step of opening the door into the basement of one's life as the creepy crawly, dusty and discarded remnants of one's soul attempt to hide, sabotage and deceive. This basement will contain many undesirables while at the same time producing irreplaceable treasures that will contribute to a lifetime filled with wholeness, simplicity, equality in relationships and an unmatched contentment. She is beginning the adventure of what it means to be God's Woman, as she listens to the song of her soul that God composed for her, long ago. What an exciting time to be a part of her life! (Yes it's a cheesy ending, but it seems so perfect!)
Questions for you: Do you find yourself in a relationship(s) that you are either the parent or the child? Why do you think this relationship works for you? If the other person changed (or if you changed) do you think you could handle the reversal or flattening of roles? If so/not, why?