Choosing your Reclaiming buddies can make or break your Reclaiming experience. When I set out to Reclaim someplace or something, I had a few go-to friends who would uplift me and still allow me to express the range of my emotions.
Remember, the goal of Reclaiming:
- To face the pain of my past
- To create a new and positive association
The job of my Reclaiming buddies was not to distract me from my pain or force me to “move on.” It was their job to come alongside me and help me process exactly what I was feeling at a particular time and in a particular location – tall order! Here are a few different roles my Reclaiming buddies would take on depending on what I needed at the time.
The Accepter: “The Accepter” is someone who would allow me to process my feelings and do so without judgement. This friend didn’t make the trip about themselves. I was facing debilitating grief, and this type of friend helped me to know and understand that it was okay for me to be the center of attention when I was Reclaiming.
The Clown: When I needed to laugh because I was crying all day, I called on “The Clown” to Reclaim with me. It was bound to be a fun experience.
The Spontaneous One: This is the friend who would show up at the last minute. When I found myself with a free evening, the last thing I wanted to do was sit at home alone and stare at the walls. A place would come to mind and I’d want to go Reclaim it – Right now! I had a few friends who were often free at the drop of a hat and I’d call them for these spontaneous Reclaiming events.
PRO TIP: Do not expect that every good friend will be this Reclaiming buddy. Many friends are not this spontaneous. Family situations and sheer distance can keep even the best of friends from dropping everything to Reclaim with you. That certainly doesn’t make them a bad friend or a bad Reclaiming buddy. When you receive a few “No’s” from close friends, do not be discouraged. Schedule something with them. Your friend’s world does not stop just because yours has.
The One who is Part of the Reclaiming: When I would recognize a place that needed to be reclaimed, occasionally a particular friend will come to mind. This person likely went to the location with me and my ex-husband. The ideal Reclaiming scenario would include them. This can be tricky because this friend sometimes needed to Reclaim along with me.
PRO TIP: This event will need some scheduling and emotional preparation for both you and the Reclaiming buddy. Let this person know what he or she is getting into. When you’re there, talk about what you’re feeling, share your stories and encourage this person to do the same. You may be turning into their Reclaiming buddy!
The Confused but Curious: These are the people who had heard about what I was doing but weren’t entirely sure what it was all about. I would invite them along with another Reclaiming buddy who knew the drill.
PRO TIP: When choosing “The Confused but Curious” Reclaiming buddy, educate him or her on the importance of this experience for you. They will need a heads-up that this isn’t just a typical outing.
The Healthy Challenger: Good friends encourage forgiveness. This Reclaiming buddy healthfully challenged me to observe my anger and bitterness towards my ex-husband. Is it healthy? Is it propelling me forward? “The Healthy Challenger” wouldn’t allow me to wallow in unhealthy anger for too long. This friend had patience for where I was, but called me to forgiveness by encouraging me to let go.
PRO TIP: You are not allowed to stay angry forever.
Throughout my healing, best friends became Reclaiming buddies, and when people I would consider acquaintances stepped up to Reclaim something with me, they soon became true and beautiful friends. I am confident that you will find the perfect people to help you in your own Reclaiming journey. Need a little extra help? Write a comment with questions or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to help if I can. I also make an excellent Reclaiming buddy!