I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but I'm thankful for so many things that it could take me a very long time to list them all. Today, however, I'm focusing on how thankful I am to have loving, supportive friends in my life.
When I was a child we moved a lot (every two years, on average). I continued to move a lot even after college, when it was no longer my mother making the decisions about moving.Why am I telling you this on a Thankful Thursday ?Because all of that moving around when I was a young child partly shaped the way I made friends.
With just about every new place we moved, I'd be faced with a new school and no friends.I have a loving and giving personality, however, so I never had a difficult time meeting new people. With each new location, I spent a majority of my time getting to know everyone as quickly as I could.Then, within two years, we'd move again.
I've always loved people and find it fascinating how similar and yet so very different we all are. Spending time with friends and getting to know all about their lives and interests is very important to me. I became a great friend to all I met, giving them genuine love and attention. My heart is bigger for knowing and loving so many people over my lifetime.
That moving around a lot, however, had a negative impact. I learned to be a great friend to others, but I never truly allowed others to be a good friend to me.Until recently, my entire focus in friendships was on how good a friend I could be to other people. Never once did I realize that I had never allowed anyone to truly be *my* friend. But, you shouldn't feel sorry for me, since this has all changed. ;-)
Eating raw, living foods brings with it a lot more than physical body changes. When you are no longer consuming cooked, numbing foods, you are faced with all kinds of issues that used to be hidden or supressed. You may hear raw foodists talking about physical detox symptoms when they started cleaning up their diets with raw foods, but for me the emotional detox was much more severe. If you have a lot of supressed issues from your past, as I did, consuming only raw foods is going to bring those issues into the light no matter how much you try to turn a blind eye on them.
There are theories of why emotional issues surface when your diet becomes cleaner. One of them is that you are finally caring for yourself and since we are more than just bodies, our spirits, minds, and emotions become more of a focus, as well. Without us consciously realizing it, we are working on all aspects of ourselves. Another theory is that memories and emotions are stored in the cells of our bodies. When we clean up our bodies using raw foods, the stored toxins, fats, and probably a whole load of other things, begin to be flushed from our systems. Without the toxins, fats, and other things surrounding our cells, any memories and emotions that have been held in the cells are now exposed.
I have no idea why it happens, but it does. When I went raw a lot of my issues from childhood became exposed. Perhaps they were exposed to a greater degree because I was finally seeing a therapist to work on childhood issues, but they were exposed nonetheless. I began to realize so many things about myself, began to let go of decades of stored negative emotions and thoughts. My vision changed from one of always looking out at others, from being the one to help others, to all of a sudden seeing myself. Even though I have always been introspective, somehow I never really saw myself. Maybe I was always looking, but it wasn't until I was a raw foodist that I finally found myself.
I found myself looking straight into my own eyes for the first time. How sad, lonely, and scared I was. From the outside no one could ever see this. Yet, here I was seeing the real me---and the real me felt unworthy of others caring about me. Seeing this part of myself was truly a turning point. I wanted, for the first time in my life, to love myself. I wanted to show myself that I was worthy of my own love, my own attention, as I had always loved and cared for others. So, that's what I've been doing. It's not always easy, because I was raised to think that if you cared for yourself you were filled with ego and would "get a swelled head" and others wouldn't like you. Well, I know now that it's not true! Not only will you be filled with peace and happiness when you care for yourself, you'll allow others to treat you with the love and respect that you deserve, as well.
So, over the past year I have realized that I deserve true friendship, too. Not only can I be a loving and caring friend to those around me, they can be my friends, too. I've since been sharing more of myself with others, and accepting their love and friendship for the very first time. Some old friendships became even deeper, once I opened up and allowed the love and friendship to flow both ways. Other friendships I ended when I didn't receive the respect and love I deserve.
I have found that if I love myself, first, it allows me to more fully love those around me---and gives them an opportunity to love me, as well. I am blessed to know many loving, supportive friends for the first time in my life.For this I am forever thankful.
Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.
On January 19, 2008, wrote:
I loved this post! I read it the day after a very personal discussion on the same subject. :-)
I love you and although I haven't said it much I have always admired you...not always agreed with you...but I have and do admire you. You are very special to me.
On January 19, 2008, wrote:
*HUGS* Thanks so much, Cindy! It means a lot to me. :-) I love you so very much. XOXOXO