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On Friendship

By Ivanka Jankovic
April 25, 2009

Becoming a friend to my inner child and finding a friend.

When I reflect back on my life I can see that some of my friendships were high maintenance, very few no maintenance at all, and others in between. High maintenance friendships were first to go once I stopped caretaking. It was very scary. Fears of alienation and of ending up alone were my loyal companions for quite a while. They got very intense any time I would chose me, not the other person. 

I knew that all relationships are mirrors, and they are there to teach us. I also read that the more a person becomes whole, different kind of people will enter their life. My problem was that I had a lack of faith in that. I just could not see it happening. Once I started practicing IB I wanted a friend that I can share with, learn from and compare notes. But that was not happening either. Then one day while I was ruminating over the "friendship" issue a voice asked me:  Would you want to be a friend to yourself? Would you like to spend time with yourself?  I was puzzled but still answered the questions. The answers were no. This saddened me a lot. I realized that I have been severely brainwashed that a person needs others in order to be happy. It is selfish to love and take care of oneself. Love comes from others.

This put me on the path of becoming a friend with my inner child. I discovered that I was very unfriendly to her. I was so caring to others but I would abandon her at the drop of a hat. Some really painful feelings came up but nevertheless I persisted to become a friend to myself. Every time I would feel that inner pull my guidance would throw a U turn sign at me telling me to give to my inner child what I expect from others.

With time it become easier, but I still had to wrestle my deep tribal beliefs and my companion fears. After a while I did notice that friendships that survived jumped on the new level, especially no maintenance friendships. Suddenly people opened up to me and vice verse. I found out that some of my friends were on their healing journey as well, and we started to exchange our experiences. Before I went to a 5 day intensive I told my child: we are not going to try to find a friend and connect to people. We are going there to learn and enjoy. And I kept it that way. And this is when I met my Inner Bonding friend. I prefer to call her my tribal sister.

We started to talk every Sunday. This triggered the wounded self in both of us. My wounded self was telling me this is not going to last, do not have high hope etc. Her wounded self was telling her: Once she finds out your level of Inner Bonding she will not want to Inner Bond with you. We acknowledged those false beliefs and kept being in touch. We take turns in doing the steps, discussing our understanding of the process and other issues that come up. And it is really amazing to witness someone’s change and how our wounded self operates or how it looks like when loving action is coming from guidance vs. wounded self.  

When the journey gets tough we guide each other through the steps and insist on asking guidance for the truth. In those moments just a gentle reminder that there is a reason for a pain and nobody died from opening up to it is of great help. Current culture uses many means to suppress the pain so opening up to it triggers the wounded self who starts to sow doubts and whispers: "you cannot do it, it is not worth it, you will die, etc." Yet it is essential if we are to heal and grow. The other amazing thing is that we do not pretend but openly explore our wounds and false beliefs. There is a great sense of safety, and willingness to learn that allows us to verbalize our deepest and darkest secrets and fears. This always surprises the one who is listening, as we do not see that darkness and flaws in which the other firmly believes.  

This kind of friendship has one more amazing thing. Not only that you get to know other person's essence but guidance as well. In moments when person is connected to a guide amazing wisdom comes through. Guides talk in very simple language, but love and care can be felt in each word.

I asked my guidance why this did not happen earlier. The answer was very short: "You were not ready", meaning I had to heal my caretaking first. I used to relate to the people from my persona, not my essence. And for a long time my loving action was: No defense and no pretense. This meant I had to become aware of how I act and clearly see my persona (little caretaker). When I started changing that my persona was not happy at all so she did everything to gain control back, mainly telling me that I will end up alone.

What I do understand now is that unless we cultivate within ourselves what we want, we cannot get it in the outer world. Once we start the process Spirit supports us every step of the way. Spirit brings us the people that will help us grow. But the first step has to be ours.  


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Your emotions are a great gift, letting you know when you are on track or off track in your thinking and behavior, or when you need to attend to what is happening with a person or situation. Today, practice learning what your painful emotions are telling you, rather than avoiding them with your various addictions.


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Your emotions are a great gift, letting you know when you are on track or off track in your thinking and behavior, or when you need to attend to what is happening with a person or situation. Today, practice learning what your painful emotions are telling you, rather than avoiding them with your various addictions.



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