What’s In A Unified Tribe?

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Friendship so deep the ocean would be jealous.

TRIBE: (n.) a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.

Having a lot of friends has always given me anxiety. The feeling of being a good friend to all, showing up for them all is exhausting. And cooties to you if you can do it and still have to be the very best friend to yourself.

I have a few friends, one that has the title of my BEST friend only because she’s not blood. We are a lot alike but still very different. We have been friends for years, fell off, got back on. As grown women growing and cultivating ourselves into better people. We talk a lot — not just the gossip but the deep talks. Through those deep talks we discovered that the foundation of our bond comes from being outcasts. Not just outcasts in society but outcasts in our family and with friends. She’s louder than me and much kinder than I am. She needs things that I don’t. Every aspect of our lives are different, but very much the same.

So it comes as no surprise that some of her tribe is lacking common sense, turning against her and teaming up with each other. I have no sympathy, no “Aww you poor thing” or “I’m so sad for you” it’s pure empathy because I’ve been there before. I have stood in my truth, stated facts only to have the doors of love and understanding slammed in my face. 

When a minuscule situation brings out the worst, but the truth in people that you thought would at least comprehend where you are coming from, it hurts. The people who’ve known you the longest and know your deepest darkest secrets should understand your mindset right? Not quite, and the sooner we all learn this the softer the blow.

We all speak out of anger because human. But if we don’t respect the people in our tribe enough to pick up the phone and call them instead of turning their Facebook status into a virtual Real Housewives brunch argument scene. Why exactly are we in their lives? There’s a lot of subtracting from life and not much adding of love going on.

No we are not perfect, but sometimes we have to stop, we have to reflect before we let damaging words leave our mouths and become debris in someone else’s life, especially those we love. It takes time and it takes practice. Vulnerability takes practice. Gratitude takes practice. Loving someone the way they need to be loved takes practice. It’s all trial and error. But the first step to healing what has been cracked or broken is a restructuring apology; that apology will take practice. And the recipe to that apology are mentioned above: Gratitude, vulnerability and love. It can’t come from anywhere else — not a place of defensiveness or blame.

Because that’s what friends who truly love and respect one another do. We don’t all grow at the same pace. We have not all stepped in our truth, got completely naked and bathed in it; because it’s hard. And sometimes it’s easier to leave hard in that quiet room of our minds, by itself to fade away. Most of us pray to God it goes away. The rest come to terms with the fact that there will be a time that they will have go into that room and step into the world proudly with hard. Hard is a great friend and teacher, teaches you how strong your are, who will be there when it’s engulfed you and refuses to let go. Whose really got back and can stand in the darkness with you? Fuck the light. Who can hold their arms out and clear the path for you while you follow behind? 

When you feel like you’re standing in empty football stadium, who’s presence can you feel? Who is coming out of their light to step into your darkness to hold you and let you know they’ll show up and they’ll do it every time, in any way they can? When you feel like you’re drowning who’s going to jump in, help you push off the ocean floor and break the surface so you can breathe again? 

 That’s your home. That’s your light, your vulnerability and your gratitude. That’s your tribe. 

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