Lessonships

I loved the Wonder Years…

One of the things I loved most about it was the theme song. I’m a tv theme song junkie… ask me to “sing” one, I probably know it. Anyhow, if went something like…

“what would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me? Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song. I will try not to sing out of key. I get by with a little help from my friends…”-Joe Crocker (The Beatles), With a Little Help From My Friends

Friendship is a mighty powerful dynamic. It is more powerful, I believe than familial or romantic bonds. For familial bonds that don’t become friendships and romantic bonds that don’t begin as friendship tend to fade away as we get older, or at least get less of our time and our attention.

What is friendship? I believe it’s a bond or commitment between two people who share an affection towards one another to share the ups and downs of life with love, respect, compassion, admiration, care, and concern. I think all of it is necessary… the bond, the affection, the sharing, and the emotion.

It’s “through good times and bad times, I’ll be by your side” but it’s also …

whenever you need me I’m already there
Its gettin’ done hangin’ out the window
Sayin’ WOOO motherfucker UH 
You ride for me I’m a ride for you its only fair!” -Mystikal, How Many

We can be arm in arm and braiding each other’s hair or gully with it… doesn’t matter, again, it takes mutual affection, sharing, emotion, and commitment. That can come in many forms… and it might just be me hanging out the window ready to ride!

But all friendships don’t last.

Or were those really friendships at all.

I’ve been friends with folks since kindergarten, the second grade, the ninth grade, college, and made new friends just this year. I’m not friendly, but I take my friendships seriously. I honor code, I’m down to ride, I got your back, I’ll watch your kids, I’ll get on a plane, whatever is required. I have rarely lost a friend. Lost contact temporarily perhaps, fallen out with them and had to get back right, but lost… I can count on one hand and still not use all my fingers. Cuz generally, if you sing out of tune I’m gonna get up and sing with your ass.

However, there is one type of person (there are multiple but only one that fits this topic) I cannot do… Quitters. She and I cannot be and will never be friends despite what was, there is no making up… that’s a character trait that isn’t going away, and I’m uninterested and unavailable. I can forgive a dishonest moment. I can forgive a weak moment. I can forgive foolishness. But I can’t forgive what or who you are, I have to accept it. And if what you are is a quitter, I accept it, just can’t fuck wit it.

A quitter in friendship is usually supremely self-righteous. A self-righteous person is so narrow minded they think they are always right or believe they are morally superior, and will exit stage left in order to maintain that fallacy as fact. You can have that shit.

“No hard feelings…

I once had an argument with Righteous Ramona who expected me to act a certain way to appease her, and I refused. I should be accepted as is , just as I accepted her. Ramona then accused me of being selfish because I wouldn’t bend to her whim. Cuz that’s what “real” friends do… they change to be what you need. INCORRECT!!!! Now I can be selfish, but with her I had NEVER been, in fact I was more than giving and accommodating and open with her than most. She showed up at my home unannounced and wasn’t on fire, and I let her in and didn’t curse her out. She asked to borrow money that she never paid back, and I just decided that it was a gift. C’mon fam… case closed. She stood so solidly on that shaky AF premise, she was willing to die alone on that hill and not continue the climb. Well I’m on a hike not a one way trip, so stay there.

…I wish you well!

I had another “friend”, Moral Mildred, who was what I like to call a convenient moralist. When you sing Freak Like Me by Adina Howard one day and the next only associate with the mass choirthat’s some Christian holy haberdashery that I want no part of. My God loves and accepts us all… hers clearly doesn’t. I heard her sermon loud and clear… I received that message. So more power to Milly, I hope her faith remains fortified, her ridiculousness doesn’t rob her, and she gets her moral rocks off hard on every block. But as for me and mine, we shall dwell in the house of be who tf you are. I’ll leave you to deal with judgements on your judgement day… a jury I surely won’t be apart of. Let the church say…

No hard feelings…

But were those really friendships at all? I don’t really have the answer to that. But I do know this… friends are God’s gift to you to pick who you do life with. We get the family we get, but we select our friends. They are a blessing. We must treat them as such. I also know that because we select them, we can unselect them as well. As we grow and change and become more of who we really are, we may just realize that those people we thought were our friends were just lessons.

…I wish you well!”-Zo, Wishing You Well

As for me and my friends… we sing along and hang out the window! Can’t stop… won’t stop!

Makidada

Weezie & Helen

Florida & Wilona

Pam & Gina

Whitley & Kim

Joan & Toni

Cleo & Stoney

Taystee & Poussey… (real tears)

Suzy Skrew & Sascha Thumper (thots need friends too)

Issa & Molly

Celie & Nettie

We don’t need “Thelma & Louise” we got our own Black Girl Besties in History to choose from. Don’t underestimate the real life need for a Black Girl Bestie. She is like your very own superhero. I call mine boonapolis, that’s Greek for she’s mine (not really, but go with it). Every so often she just unties my cape, puts it on over hers and scoops me cuz I’m out here tired, sleepwalking, had too much tequila (ok that’s usually her), being wild, or just need to be Robin for a little while. So she does her whole Batwoman thing… slaying and what not. Lemme explain…

Basically, it’s hard out here for a pimp…

and by pimp I mean “Phenomenon in Melanated Pulchritude” (you’re welcome and yes you can use it…)

… and we need some support. A group of like minded sistas is very important, but that one you can depend on, the keeper of your secrets, the holder of your most deep truths, the one that keeps their “dressed in all Black like the omen” outfit in a duffle in the trunk, always ready to knuck if they buck…she is very necessary. And when people say one name… the other usually follows.

👏🏽You and me, us never part 👏🏽

In a world that diminishes us no matter how much they mimic us, she is like your shadow, the only one that really understands. She knows your number; she remembers the ones you no longer claim. She completes your thoughts; she knows what you are thinking. Y’all got inside jokes and code words. She will call your ass ALL the way out, and everyone else knows only she can do that. Likewise you call her on her shit, because every partner in crime needs an equal partner. You help bury her dead bodies, she’s got a shovel in the trunk too. You know how we do.

Most importantly, she knows your heart. While you are code switching in your intersections all damn day, you can send her bat signal and she’s ready!

If you are sensitive, she guards you like Fort Knox. If you are sarcastic, she enjoys your banter. When you suffer from uncertainty she adjusts your crown and reminds you that you are royalty. When your heart is broken she reminds you of how awesome your heart is when it’s healed and whole, and waits until you are okay to remind you that she said he was trash. She gives you a safe space to talk about your passions, face your fears, and be your authentic self.

👏🏽You and me, us have one heart👏🏽

Likewise, you pick up the phone in the middle of the night because she knows you like sleep… so something is up. You let her know her fave movie is on, and and pray for her because some things only God can do… limitations and what not. She is your person and you let her know by being a constant and continuous support. By cheering the loudest when she wins, and being there to help her up when she has a loss. Bottom line, when one is falling, the other one has the parachute…

You see, your best girlfriend will say shit that makes you think… mind blown! They will give you advice tailored just for you, because they know you so well and they can relate. They are like your life partner with the same PMS, love of mimosas, and attraction to men with strong backs. She will be uncomfortable for you. She will be dependable and loyal to you… even if she doesn’t give other folks that same energy.

👏🏽Ain’t no ocean, ain’t no sea👏🏽Keep my sista way from me 👏🏽

For Black women, our bestie is much more like a sister. We go in the refrigerator and might go find a place to take a nap. We just show up at family dinner… cuz we are family. Her mom and dad like our own. The kids think we are really related. Blood couldn’t make us any closer. Now maybe you are lucky enough to have two or three… but most of us are too flawed and complicated to have more than one Nettie to our Celie. Someone who will hold on to our collective promise to be by one another’s side. Our best friend. Our greatest confidante. So, we stay on sideeye… she all we got!

Soul to Soul

So I know some amazing people who have their finger on the pulse of healing, wellness, and enlightenment! I saw this quote above on a healer friend’s Facebook post that spoke to me… and y’all know how I get when something gets my spirit stirring… I write. And immediately I had something to share upon reading it.

Let me break this down for you!

Know the difference between a SOULMATE and a SOUL LESSON… be clear this is not just about romantic partnerships, but relationships period. Some people are kindred spirits, you all just fit, like puzzle pieces. Others are spiritual guides placed into your path to get you back on the right journey, for a reason or maybe even a season, but purposeful nonetheless. So let’s explore this a bit.

I have a few soulmates, these are men and women who feed me morsels of love when I most need them. They connect with me beyond one note, they are friends, family, counselors, confidantes, and lifetime fixtures. I have a set of sistafriends who have been around since I was a young girl and others more recently acquired by my heartstrings, who support me, seem to know just when I need a boost, and are always on point and game tight when it comes to being available to me. I have the best boonapolis (yep, that’s a word… go best fran, that’s my best fran) in the modern world! I have male friends who are always around to protect, big up, and love me no matter what! We don’t always agree, but we agree on the one thing that matters most… we get by with a little help from our friends!

Soulmates are special. We’ve got acquaintances, friends, day ones, BFFs, and soulmates. The latter are like the unicorns of relationships, the virgins on a room of high school seniors, the girl with her real hair at a Bronner Brother’s Hair Show. You may have known them forever or just met them yesterday, but they kinda feel like your earthly twins.

Y’all finish each other’s sentences.

Say stuff like…get outta my head!

Can sense when the other is down or out, and needs your shoulder! Miles apart even.

They just get you!

You are their person!

And although they are a compliment to your existence, these are the folks that God created for you, and you for them… so you kinda do need them in a way that is unlike the rest of your friendships. It’s just different.

But just as soulmates are sent to soothe your soul, others are meant to help you get to the point where you are taking better care of your soul. So that you learn how to heal and nurture yourself so you heed the lessons that the universe has for you.

I had a soul lesson recently…

Without telling you too much of my business, (cuz I don’t know all of y’all like that), I reconnected with a soul I thought was good for mine. Turns out, he liked the idea of me better than the reality of me. He was envious of the successes, friends, networks, and connections I had made in life and couldn’t see over my big King King sized dreams… so he semi-ghosted me. Yep, #nathansnavy was lost at sea and my mirror bitch was like… squo?!?! He wanted to appear and disappear at his whim. Nawwww…. I’m not gon be able to do that, so I walked away. In the past, I would have stayed around much longer than I should have in the name of loyalty and commitment to someone who wasn’t loyal or committed to me. That was a soul lesson, and I got it, I passed. From now on I will take heed to those signs far before a year later…

Just like in school, the teacher keeps giving you tests to determine if you know the material. Only once you have mastered it, you move on to the next lesson. God is the teacher for your soul: injecting folks and situations into your life that you need to ensure you are being good to yourself, your mind, body, heart, and spirit, which resides in your soul.

Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee calls the soul, the “part of us that is one with God”, and since God is love, the soul must be the place in us where love resides. Most say it’s the heart, but the heart beats and gives us life, it is the conduit to living soulfully. And a life of soul is a life of love.

-First Corinthians by Karyn Lynn DeShields

So learning to love yourself and feed your soul are the soul lessons that we all need! However, we have to identify our lessons and our mates accordingly. A lesson we matriculate into our lives as a mate is a lesson not learned, a bad fit, and will eventually lead to a void of light in our soul. Don’t be afraid to cast out the darkness, learn the lesson, and seek love! Remember love is patient, kind, and food for the soul!

Chrishara Seyanna Dudley-Wilkes is a Life Teacher at Chris and Chrys Spiritual Concierge, connect with her on Facebook here.