Being friends with a free-spirit can require a lot of patience, but more importantly a deep understanding and acceptance for who they are. For starters, it is important to understand that free spirits tend to flow through life following their whims. They do not like rules unless they are their own. They have very independent minds and are usually extremely creative individuals with emphasis on the word individual. For black women, being a free-spirit comes with much criticism due to lack of understanding. Fellow free-spirit Ev’yan Whitney of Sex, Love & Liberation credits the free-spirited as fierce pleasure-seekers. We love love and love life. Here are some things to consider when being friends with a free-spirit:
Be open-minded. Because free-spirits tend to live without any rules, some of the lifestyle choices they make to someone more structured can seem a little unorthodox, but steer clear of trying to establish boundaries. This is the quickest way to lose them. Rules are like kryptonite to the free spirit. They will shut down once you start putting rules in place. As friends, sometimes we don’t always agree on the same things, naturally, however, when ultimatums and threats to end the friendship are set in place or a free-spirit is forced to make a choice, they will be out on the next train to Georgia (figuratively) without a word. As someone who spent six years in a relationship with someone who didn’t understand the free-spirited lifestyle, I found myself surrounded by kryptonite every day that didn’t allow me to be the creative person I am. I met some of my best friends during that period of my life, however when that period of my life ended, and I started to reawaken my free-spirited side, I found myself constantly explaining to them things they didn’t understand about myself almost to the point where I was making excuses for my lifestyle.
As free-spirits, everything is an experience. No matter how we’re feeling, whether happy or sad, we love to let it consume us so that we can experience the full power of it. We see everything as one step closer to the truth and we live in it. The best thing a person can do who is friends with a free-spirit is to study their habits, learn what their deepest desires are and biggest fears and fully understand our large capacity of emotions. The more you know, the less you’ll feel the need to judge. Just as everything is an experience to a free-spirit, let a free-spirit be an experience to you. Allow them to expose you to many new things. Not only are they great adventurers, they are also great teachers.
In this generation we’ve seen the free-spirit manifest itself more so now as the carefree black girl. Women who live unapologetically and who have been able to anchor their own expressions of individuality even when faced with stereotypes and racial barriers. Black women have coined ourselves as multidimensional individuals and have learned to redefine the several archetypes that have branded us such as hypersexual, welfare queens, or too strong and angry.
The most a free-spirit will demand from someone they care about is acceptance to remain free. Freedom is what fuels their creativity, their lifestyle. Independence is something to be appreciated, not tolerated; with love and understanding, you’ll be giving a free spirit what they need. Because we live on a whim, our paths may change daily. It is our journey to finding our truth, our purpose and as we pass through this life we are constantly seeking answers. For someone who is not a free-spirit or do doesn’t understand the mind of a free-spirit this may come across as unstable, but in fact, there is stability in our instability. We make sense of the world in our chaos.
There are several benefits to having a free-spirit for a friend. They will challenge you daily to look at the world through a different lens. They will help you break down the societal barriers you have created and boxed yourself into. They will open your world up to new possibilities. They will teach you to appreciate the beauty in small and simple things. Sometimes being a free-spirit is hard because not everyone is accepting, so learning to understand and appreciate them makes you a great friend to have.