How much extra, is the extra mile?

“You are no longer going the extra mile for your friends, your “friends” aren’t accustomed to being the kind of friends who have to call and check up on you.”

A friend of mine said this to me recently. And I cringed. She didn’t realise how hurtful and down right ludicrous this statement was to me.

As mentioned in an earlier post… I used to live a life where I would over-compensate.  Sometimes, I would genuinely love you and want to smother you with my loving, but other times I would do it just because I was afraid to lose you as a friend.

This is something I was not always cognisant of. I spent many years using the word love to describe very toxic behavioural patterns that I was choosing to entrench in my life. I was loving people from a broken place and in my brokenness I was giving them time that they didn’t always deserve.

This was unhealthy. But the bigger problem was that I had willingly created the monster of “Entitlement” with my friends. So much so, that they felt that calling and checking in was a responsibility that I carried alone in the friendship.

It also created a system where I believed that investing more time in their lives, solving their problems would also magically solve mine. And that was lie that I would reap the misfits of, for years to come.

Thankfully with knowledge comes growth and with growth comes change.

The truth is, genuinely loving somebody is going the extra mile. Not the sentimental stuff we see in movies. But that gritty, I always want what’s best for you type of love; the one where you’ll pray for, and believe in somebody even when they are least like themselves. That kind of love. Where our friendship isn’t measured by the things we own; but by the content of hearts, especially where our friendship is concerned. Because that takes effort and courage and faith.

And if I have to exercise my faith to stick by you. Then love lives there. Then I am going the extra mile.  

Coming to this realisation was rather liberating for me. So with my new found freedom I chose to be more aware of how I choose to love the people around me. I didn’t want to incapacitate people with my smothering. Nor did I wanted to be incapacitated by my choice to love them.

Love should make us flourish and grow, not just together but seperately as well.

Here’s to new friendships. Where we go the extra mile, and don’t live a day to regret it.

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