Foundations: Lessons

Through a series of events, I have learned that when we feel we have been shaken off our foundation, it is most often ourselves that made the first move. In an earlier reflection here, I called into question my foundations within friendships—as if someone else had moved my foundations. The fact is, my thoughts on our friendships is what changed. The foundation I questioned was in essence how I felt about my connections with these friends. I concluded that my connections with them were more important to me than the spiritual differences that we have.

This is the First Principle of Unitarian Universalism at work. I chose to see the inherent dignity in my friends, and the joys and sorrows we have shared over the years, and put my frustration over spirituality aside. Having my foundation of trust altered has taken me down a path of questioning- is there enough goodness in the friendship to keep it going at its current state? Taking more time for myself and for reflection on the meaning of friendships will help me figure this out.

Knowing and trusting one’s sense of self is crucial to staying grounded. Through this process we learn to accept what is truly ours, and allow others to figure out answers for themselves.

I am learning to be my best friend, and talk myself through stressful moments. I am finding the balance between reliance on myself and interdependence with others. I am also learning that I can take courage in the process of change. That itself begins to feel like a foundation!

Jen Garrison

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