I don't need you.
That's what I told myself for years.
Strong female relationships are a newer thing in my life. And this post brings up some serious emotional guilt that I have.
Through my 20s I didn't feel the *need* to have close relationships with girl friends. I did have some good girl friends, but ultimately didn't nurture those relationships the way I wish I would have. I got married at 22 then started having children and was just in a mom-zone. I had my mom and sisters and sister-in- laws for female relationships and for a time, that fulfilled that need.
Here's the reality from an outside perspective. People thought I was cold (Honestly, I believe I'm being generous with this word). And I was. It actually makes me so emotional to talk about because I am so ashamed of this part of my life. But, I didn't think I *needed* anyone so I didn't try hard to be warm and welcome other women into my life. And I lived like this for almost a decade. Until I had a realization that changed my life.
It's not all about me.
How many women did I not open my heart to because I didn't think I needed them? But, maybe they needed ME, even if just for one minute. Maybe they needed love or attention for 5 minutes. And I turned down multiple opportunities to spread love and bring joy to someone because I was "content" without others.
I also met my sweetest friend who helped open my heart at this new time. We met at a pizza place. We were both out with our families and had a little conversation about our children who were close in age. And I left thinking about her. I just thought, "I really liked that woman.". And even that feeling was new for me! And God heard this simple longing of my heart because the next morning at Church, she was there. We were in the back with our babies and started talking. We found out more about each other, exchanged numbers then set a date to meet.
It was Verve in Capitola. I was on time (as I most always am) and she was running behind (as she most always is). And I was sitting there totally doubting this new vulnerability of mine. I started thinking, "This is why I don't open myself to new friendships". I, sadly, text my husband telling him that she didn't show up. As I was about to leave, she walked through the door. And she's been my dearest friend every since.
She unthawed my heart.
It melted and morphed and regrew into a heart that was not just for me, but for others. It's a heart that wants to love passionately, not always needing a gain, but wanting to give generously. Maybe that's the reason I am so passionate about working with other women in my work. I want to have more connections with the women around me, to be receptive and vulnerable and to share my own heart with others.
I desire to live to affirm and solidify all the beauty and gifts in others and build friendships and connections with the wonderful people I come into contact with.