Arriving in this country has, for those who stay in our countries of origin, the imaginary of a great life surrounded by wealth, opportunities, and success, however, the reality is that immigrant life is not easy and, on the contrary, the challenges to face a different culture, a different currency and a different language make it exhausting and that, in many opportunities, becomes a dead end with a lot of work and few results.
In this blog we will tell you about the important role that friends and the networks we create play to sustain us and make this process more bearable.
Some, upon arriving here, already have family members to lean on, however, not all people have the opportunity to feel integrated or identified with their family members, much less to find refuge and support in them. Many times it is the same family members who are in charge of making the transition more difficult, of abusing the lack of knowledge and creating bad moments through mistreatment.
It is said that it is impossible to choose your family, however I believe that limits should be set and even, as one of my clients would say, “divorce” your family.
In the same way, I believe that we can create new ties and a new family with those that life puts in our way and show more interest and support towards us than our own family.
We can choose our friends. We must be clear about this, because I have also had to accompany clients who end up living toxic relationships with their friends and clinging to them even more than if they were members of the same family.
If we learn to make good friends, we can make them our chosen family. But, be careful, we have to be certain in choosing them. We tend to keep what mistreats us because, for our brain, what is known gives security and this is a survival principle, so, if you come from a toxic family relationship, you have to detoxify, make the characteristics of the abusive person evident so you don’t repeat the same pattern with your friends. The power of friendship strengthens with age, it may even be more important than family relationships. This is shown by an investigation of William Chopik, a professor at Michigan State University.
On a couple of studies involving nearly 280,000 people, the scholar found that friendships are becoming increasingly important to happiness and health throughout life. Not only that, but in older adults, friendship acts more strongly to maintain good health and happiness, even more than relationships with family members.
“Friendships become even more important as we age,” said Chopik, an assistant professor of psychology. “Keeping really good friends can make a big difference to our health and well-being. Therefore, it is smart to invest in the friendships that make you happy “
So go through your list of friends and make sure you reconnect with those who do you good and let go of everyone else, even if your list gets short. The important thing is not the quantity but the quality and the contribution they make to your life.
1. The family we choose, a friend can not give us a solution to all our problems, or solve every doubt or fear, but they will always be there supporting us and sharing every feeling and emotion.
2. Those who know all your flaws and, in spite of them, love you, these are your soul friends, those we can call life companions. Friends can’t take the stones out of your way so you don’t trip, but they hold out their hands for you to get up.
3. The treasure that life allows you, the family you choose. The most important ingredient in life’s recipe. They are those that offer us a space to grow, and do not put limits on our life. But they are also the ones who speak lovingly and clearly to us when we are about to make a mistake and that, even if we do, they will receive us with open arms.
From my own experience, I must say that I am just learning about how the value of true friendship is such a strong bond that it can save you when you are drowning. I just lived it when, in the middle of a great storm due to the family situation and change of house that I was going through and when I felt most alone, the friends who were really in my life came out of nowhere, literally like a troop of ants to support me, work hard shoulder to shoulder with me and show me that I was very well accompanied, that the network was strong and there for me. My heart wanted to jump out of my chest with gratitude. To be honest, it hurt to feel so loved and valued. Can you believe that?
I also learned with pain that, for many others, it was time to let go.
And for you, how is it going with your friends?
Friends: They are angels that give you wings when yours do not remember how to fly.