Simply listening to the big thoughts that kids share in yoga class has opened a whole new world of understanding human connections better. One big thought has emerged from all that listening and stayed in the front of my mind...
We put people into boxes when we label who they are and what role that means they should play in our lives.
Our language is full of ego. We claim everything with our words and establish unspoken agreements and assumptions in just one little sentence. It can be so harmful to our own thoughts and interactions with others. Even saying "I am angry"... that is claiming that you literally ARE anger. In other languages they say "I am feeling anger in this moment". They make that feeling something that can pass instead of something that has taken over their identity. The same goes with the titles we put on the people in our lives. A partner, family, friends, professional connections and so on. But one in particular has struck a chord.
"You're my best friend." The kids say it. They tell me who is in that box in their lives and then they fall to pieces when that friend doesn't fulfill all the unspoken commitments that that title meant to them.
"You're my best friend." The adults say it. Then they get so full of anger or frustration when that "BEST FRIEND" doesn't perform to the standard of unspoken rules placed upon their head with just a title.
This type of communication...its harmful. People aren't meant to be put into boxes, into categories. Kids cry and adults drop friendships because they didn't feel like their friend performed properly as a BEST friend. Then they let them back into their lives when that person conforms to their unspoken rules again.
There is a need to change verbiage, our ways of communicating. We don't get to force people to be who we want them to be in our lives. We get to live side by side with other amazing humans. The practice of non-attachment. That doesn't mean to be unattached from everything. It means holding something with and open palm and not crushing it within a tight fist. Think of a pile of sand in your hand. Does it stay if you crush it tightly or does it slip out of your fingers? So instead of saying, "you're my best friend"....maybe start thinking about that a little differently. Give a little space for each person to be who they are in your life and not who you think they should be. Help the little ones do the same.
"You are such a good friend to me." "He/she was such a kind friend when they did this for me."
On and on this topic could go but just keeping it simple. Add a little more grace, more conscious thought to your words so that a bond you have with another human can just be a beautiful connection instead of a prison cell of requirements. Give yourself room to be a kinder friend to all those around you because you simply let them be who they are as your lives move forward side by side. Less rigidity in all things.