by guest contributer Kellie Stone
As a woman in my late forties, I’ve had many friends over the years—some closer than others but all important to my life in some way. I’ve seen some of those friendships flourish with time and also witnessed some crumble to the ground for no apparent reason. Well, there is a reason: Assuming, Predicting, and Projecting or APPs—three little, seemingly, harmless acts of ego that we, as modern day goddesses, should do everything to avoid. The tricky thing: they can hide amongst the most well-meaning and do-gooder scenarios; such as, religion, political agendas, parenting style, beauty and fashion style, and even health practices. Do you understand how forcing your assumptions, predictions, and projections onto others could send even the best friendships to the dump? If not, allow me to explain by first giving you a clear definition of the words themselves:
Assume: suppose to be the case, without proof.
Predict: say or estimate that (a specified thing) will happen in the future or will be a consequence of something.
Project: extend outward beyond something else; protrude.
Though, all three of these acts do have purpose and can even be useful, when it comes to relationships, they become a wrecking ball, destroying everything in its path. With all that I’ve experienced and how my life journey has unfolded, I’ve realized that people, not just Goddesses, deserve to be themselves without others deciding for them what will be, what looks best, what is the smartest, what won’t cause pain, what is pretty, what is ugly, what will bring love, what is right, and what is wrong. These examples are all ways that humans assume, predict, and project their ideals onto those around them, and you know what? We tend to do it the most with our closest friends and family because we somehow think that we have a right to. Though our intentions may be pure, it truly is a way to hurt the ones we love the most.
Being an authentic friend and having sacred relationships is one of the most divine experiences we can have as women. That said, understand, that in order for this to transpire, you may have to adjust some things about how you express your love and concern for others. I had a friend once who constantly projected phobias and dysfunction onto my life by saying things like “Kellie, I know you don’t do well with conflict.” or “You are way too sensitive.” or “That anxiety of yours will likely get in the way when you meet my friends.” And, creating an even worse division, I had a friend tell me that she was “concerned for my soul and that I was in spiritual danger” because I was posting material on my social media page that was outside of her religious beliefs. That pretty much told me that she felt I was wrong and that her “way” and being right was more important than our relationship. The fact is, we’ve all likely either been the projectors or the projectees at one time or another and, for this, we’ve experienced the painful detriment of our human connections.
What it boils down to is recognizing our ego and how it gets in the way of truth, love, and justice. The word sacred is usually used to describe something that pertains to God or holiness but can also refer to that which is considered worthy of deep respect or devotion, as in the case here while talking about friendships. I also happen to believe that the Divine and the Universe collectively act on our desires, purpose, and choices by bringing certain people and situations into our lives. This way of thinking allows me to see that all things are “sacred.” It’s when we reject others because of what they believe or how they live (their truth) that we may miss the lessons and growth meant for us. All things and people have purpose. Remembering, or at least considering, this helps us to bring more of our Goddessness to the table instead of our vexatious egos.
Even if you have been an assumer, predictor, or projector in the past, today is a new day! Let go of the need to be in control and to be right. Inspirational writer and speaker, Luminita Saviuc, said, “Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be.” It’s hard to do sometimes but, in the end, the payoff for remaining indifferent about the affairs of others will bring a peace and harmony to your life that surpasses any “rightness” glory you could ever receive.
One other thing that has to be removed in order to secure long-term friendships is the talking about others behind their backs or gossiping. It seems like a pretty “duh” statement, but I am still made shockingly aware of how this tragedy occurs in everyday life, especially on social media. “She did this and he did that” is carelessly spread far and wide by women who just want to be right and have support while doing it. I get it. I’ve done it, too. We want to be “involved” in the lives of others, and it feels good to be right, but where do we draw the line? My therapist (yes, I have a therapist!) shared an awesome rule that she and her family have: If it’s not your story, don’t share it! I love this simple way in which to “draw the line” and be faithful to the highest version of you.
If we are to truly act on our deepest desire to be good friends, we must look closely at the root causes of the need to be in control and to communicate in a way that can repel and hurt others. Why do you think we assume things about our friends and family? Why do we share with uninvolved “others” our loved one’s stories and private information? Why do we predict how someone will negatively respond to a situation based on how he or she previously did, instead of believe the best of that person? These are tough questions that deserve an answer. I believe it is simple: We have hang-ups about our own lives and have not completely come into our authentic Goddess selves. We are not happy with some part of ourselves.
Being a modern day Goddess with satisfying, loving friendships doesn’t demand perfection or knowing it all, but it does require learning how to let go of that which does not serve. And, I guarantee, damaging your precious connections with ego-based acts does not serve anyone. The most sacred gift we can give ourselves is to know and understand what it is we truly desire from our lives and relationships. Who are you and why are you here? The answer to this question can seem elusive but, if you want to keep your relations with others pure and your heart uncluttered, you owe it to yourself to pursue it.
Building sacred friendships is about being the real you in everything you do. It’s about believing the best in people and realizing that they are on their own path, even though it may cross yours. Create a place in your heart for acceptance and forgiveness that covers yourself and others. Trying to change those in your life or forcing your ideals onto them will not bring positive energy to your existence. Exploring yourself on a deeper level and facing your shadows is the only way to express the Goddess within and to truly keep relationships safe and fulfilling.
For more on Kellie, go here.