Real Friends: The Avengers
As I practice social distancing, I have been watching a lot of movies (as most people have). I recently watched Avengers Infinity War and Avengers Endgame and I had such a moment. I had seen both of these movies prior but this particular viewing did something for me.
My absolutely favorite part of the Avengers movies is when one of the Avengers shows up unexpectedly to assist his/her friends.
In Avengers Infinity War, the battle was going awry and out of nowhere here comes Thor's hammer and he came through kicking ass for his friends! In Avenger's Endgame, when things started to look hopelessly lost, Captain America heard in his ear "Look to your left" and there were his friends to help him fight. This made me the slightest bit emotional honestly.
Can you honestly say you have friends that show up for you in your time of need?
Everyone has their own definition of a true friend and just like we set standards and non-negotiables for our romantic relationships, we need them for our friendships as well.
I am not going to tell you what your standards should be but I am going to share with you a few key takeaways I took from the Avengers:
They all have our own missions. The Avengers don't talk every single day. They don't work together in the same office. They don't get upset that their friends are somewhere reaching their goals and dealing with their own issues. They each have their own issues. They each have their own missions and they are not pressed about who is on their day to day journey with them because they know who shows up when it counts.
They all shine. Most of The Avengers have had or are slated to have their own individual movie(s). They all have an equally important story. Often friendships feel like "one at a time" when it comes to shining and making major moves. Your friendships should offer you space to shine at all times without threatening the shine of your friends. Everyone has their own power and that should be honored. Nobody can do you like you do you.
They show tf up. When it really counted and the fight was too much to bear, their friends showed up. As I grow and mature, I recognize that my friends can't necessarily fight every single battle in the trenches with me. They have their own battles and furthermore some battles are meant to strengthen me which cannot happen if I don't fight them. But….sometimes….I am outnumbered, outgunned, or just too tired to fight alone and that is when I need my friends to show tf up without a question and start swinging. Let's be clear: I am not talking about fighting in the physical. Your battle might be depression, confidence, singleness, an abusive relationship, trauma or any other personal battle. No matter what the battle is, you need friends you can count on when it matters the most.
They aren't all the same. There is a classic quote that you've probably heard several times before. "Birds of a feather flock together". I used to regurgitate this quote whenever it helped me make my point about a group of friends. It was the truth as far as I knew it. I have since challenged that saying. Your friends do not have to be just like you. Iron Man and Captain America were not the same. They were not birds of a feather. They clashed often but that didn't stop them from showing up for each other even when that meant putting their lives on the line.
Evaluate your circle.
Are you allowed to have your own mission without guilt from your friends?
Are you free to shine?
Do your friends show up for you?
Do your friends respect your individuality?