Buying Your Friends

Has your self-worth and self-esteem ever gone so low that you resorted to buying your friends?

Sadly, I can answer yes to this question, but I learned a very valuable lesson in being this way for years. Anyone who allows themself to be bought time and time again, were really never a friend to start with.

The image I like to paint most often of this is of the barfly who has money to spend every night they go out on the town. Week in and week out they frequent some establishment buying round after round of drinks for various people. They become quite popular with the other patrons so much so that the stools around them are rapidly occupied each time they are there. There never seems to be a dull moment in their life at any of the places they go out for a drink and conversations always appear to be plentiful to them. But one day when their money runs out, they head out to one of those bars only to find once there, that they’re sitting alone and completely friendless.

I remember those days when I’d regularly say “The drinks are on me!” and I was instantly surrounded with loads of people who wanted to spend time with me. Unfortunately, I never got to learn the lesson that barfly learned during my own days of drinking, as I never ran out of money like they did. When I became clean and sober, my self-esteem and self-worth were so low that I honestly believed I didn’t have much to offer someone to want to be my friend. Much of that related all the way back to me being the nerd that no one ever wanted to be around in my early grammar school years. Regrettably, I’d go on for a very long time after this finding innumerous ways to buying my friends.

Whether it was constantly paying for someone’s dinners or movies, or taking someone on an all-expense paid vacation, or giving frequent gifts to someone, or loaning money to someone who I knew was never going to pay me back, or having sex with someone I really didn’t even like in that way, it became a habit to buy my friendships in ways just like these, all because I had such an incredibly low self-esteem and self-worth. And when each of my parents died and left me some inheritance money, this habit only grew worse.

I’m not exactly sure when it was that I fully woke up to the fact that many of the “friendships” I thought I had were actually not friends at all. If I had to guess, it was probably during the time I was hanging out with this Harley-Davidson biker guy. During that period, my mental and emotional health deteriorated greatly and the only things I received from this friend while that was happening were either criticisms of my state of health, demands for free meals, or requests for money to borrow. When I refused to offer anything except my company, he was consistently nowhere to be found.

Thankfully all of that led me to finally work on my low self-esteem and low self-worth enough to the point where I learned how to unconditionally love myself. Because of that, I now enjoy spending time alone and don’t feel the need to do things anymore such as buying my friends. While I may not have too many of them in my life at the present time, I believe the few who are there treasure my soul and my company more so than anything.

So if you happen to be someone like I once was, who is regularly buying your friends, you may want to take a moment, breathe, and start working on improving your self-esteem and self-worth. As the more you do, the more you will find yourself unconditionally loving that which you see in the mirror every single day. And the more that continues to happen, the more you’ll find friends coming into your life, not because you’re buying their friendship, but because your heart and soul is that amazing they are drawn to that and that alone.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

“If I Were…”

I decided to be my inner child today and write a fun entry from his perspective. I really believe it’s truly important on all of our spiritual journeys in life to never neglect the little boy or girl that lives inside each and every one of us. So today I’m honoring my own by allowing “Andy” to write about something he likes to do quite often and it’s titled “If I were…”

If I were a butterfly, I’d land on someone who looks totally sad hoping only that it might cheer them up.

If I were indestructible, I’d try to save as many people as I can from the increasing violence on our planet.

If I were a tree, I’d want to know if I feel pain when people carve things into me or chop me down.

If I were an animal in a zoo, I’d be one that makes people giggle and laugh by doing funny things.

If I were the weather, I’d be a permanent rainbow because they usually create a lot more hope and joy in this world.

If I were a bird, I’d like to finally know what all their chatter is about when they sit in a tree in huge numbers.

If I were an insect, I’d be a honeybee because there doesn’t seem to be many of them left.

If I were a flower, I’d be a birds of paradise because they always remind me of me, tall and goofy looking.

If I were a cat or a dog, I’d have an owner that I could teach them a thing or two about unconditional love.

If I were able to remove anything in this world, I’d get rid of hate because all it seems to do is create more of it.

And…

If I were to tell Andrew Arthur Dawson one thing today, I’d tell him I love him and give him my thanks…because he no longer ignores me nor is he doing those addictions anymore that caused him to forget about me in the first place.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

What Do You Do When No One’s Watching You?

What do you do when no one’s watching you? This is a question I began pondering years ago when I started realizing at various recovery meetings that a great speaker is not always indicative of whom a person really is in life. In fact, the reality I discovered more than not is that how a person presents themselves to the world is often quite far from the person they truly are when no one’s watching them. Of course I must say that this was true of me as well for a very long time, but more on that in a minute.

When I first went to Alcoholics Anonymous to find recovery from my addiction-prone life, I looked for others to guide my way to healing and to living more spiritually. I latched on to several people early on who blew me away each time I heard them speak at the meetings I attended. But soon I learned that just because they looked good and sounded well each time they spoke, it didn’t necessarily equate to who they truly were behind the scenes. Many of those I drew close to because of how great their recovery program appeared to me were actually backstabbing, gossiping, abusive, dishonest, and engaging in other addictions outside those meetings rooms. Sadly, I was oblivious at the time to the actuality that I was no better.

While I could stand at any podium and fully appear to know what I was talking about, most never knew how spiritually sick I was when I wasn’t being in the spotlight. Like many of those I idolized early on in recovery, I too carried my fair share of toxic character defects that I never revealed when speaking in any of those recovery meetings I attended. And while I swayed many people listening to me then to believe I was healthy and spiritually centered, I can honestly say today that I definitely wasn’t.

But I believe all charades will always be exposed over time the more one engages in them, as both those who I once idolized, and my façade as well, were eventually uncovered. Most of the ones I had looked up to in recovery relapsed or got in trouble with the law, where I ended up landing in a mental hospital and even attempted suicide.

Thankfully, I can genuinely say the person I am today whether I’m out and about in the world or at home behind closed doors are now the same. Unfortunately it took my ego getting smashed a whole heck of a lot to get here, but I’m glad it happened. I’m not a charlatan, a fake, or a fraud anymore and that actually feels pretty good to be able to say that now because it wasn’t that long ago when I couldn’t.

So I encourage you to ask yourself the same question I began with today.

What do you do when no one’s watching you???

If you’re conning the world like I once used to do, know the only thing you’re really doing is increasing your spiritual sickness. But if not, and you’re sincerely the same person whether you’re out and about or even when no one’s watching you, then know you’re probably well on your way to spiritual enlightenment…

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson