By Wezizwe Ginindza
Any kind of relationship, whether it is business related, a friendship or romantic, there is always an aim or desired end. Good relationships are important because we need people around us to point out the wrong and the right, to pick us up when we have fallen, and to remind us to revisit our goals. Two people are always better than one, for they can help each other succeed. This may be true, but it is essential to evaluate whether a relationship is helping you grow or not. Good relationships are supposed to add value and help you realise the best version of you.
When building a support system, you need to realise that you cannot take all kind of support into new levels of your life. For where you are headed, you are going to need a different kind of support. We don’t always take everyone with us even when we wish to.
There are many kinds of people that are in our lives and each person has a purpose. So, what we need to do is remain cognisant of the role that they play and why they are there. Everyone needs a confidant, someone you can be honest and transparent with. Confidants are people that are in your life for you and not the idea of you. You don’t have to change or adjust who you are when in their presence.
Then there are people that are in your life because of what you stand for and are around you for a common cause. Often times we confuse these kinds of people with confidants because they are for what we are for, but not necessarily there for you. Therefore, is it important to identify why they are in your life, which is to reach a certain goal. They stick with you because they love what you do and stand for, and as soon as they find someone else to get them where they want to be quicker, they leave. Consequently, we get disheartened because we get to realize that it was never about you.
Some people come into your life to get you to your next destination, they didn’t come to stay, they came to leave. I started in a crowd where I felt comfortable, safe and secure. However, step by step God intercepted my life – sometimes through pleasant moments, sometimes through horrific experiences, and sometimes through painful experiences. I believe that God had a way of moving me into my purpose, and this required great change in my environment, my relationships with others and myself.
I never fully understood the process of gaining friends and then losing friends, but I was aware that it was something I could not control. Life does this to us and for us – it is not something you are meant to fully understand, but rather to learn from.
When you meet a person/people, they define you by where they met you, and as long as you stay on the step, they met you on, you are okay, but the moment you take a step forward or there is a shift in your life, they become uncomfortable. Not everyone can adapt to change. However, life and people are designed to progress, so you are going to experience disagreement with friends, co-workers and partners along the way because they are no longer comfortable with the idea of a new you.
I’ve lived most of my childhood in continuous transition, and this made it difficult for me to make friends, mostly because I’ve had to change schools a number of times, and so I failed to keep friendships. It is the things that I discovered in my journey that have helped me withstand the process. However, I could not run away from the fact that I still yearned for a friend. See, there was nothing wrong with that, but I was so engrossed by this idea of having a friend that I was willing to be friends with anyone.
There are special people you will come across, some there for a season, others for a life time, and all for a purpose. The constant change that you will experience will be emotionally and mentally draining, but necessary because it is in those moments where you discover the true blessing of pain and isolation. It enables you to take steps towards mastering yourself and attracting the kind of people you need in your life.
You will attract people that will respect the boundaries that you have set and help you grow. Also, understand that people are not similar and therefore serve a different purpose in your life. Respecting the differences helps you appreciate them more. Building a support system may take years (as it did for me) but it is important because the right friends cultivate you, and together you blossom beyond your expectations.