Over the the past 39 years I’ve learned many things, gracefully and well, no so much. Some of the greatest learnings come from my friendships. I have friends that I met when I was in Elementary School that I am still close with and we have stayed in steady contact through all these years. Others I have met through mutual friends, or kids and organically connected, leaving me feeling that the friendship would carry me through life. It’s a wonderful feeling to actually choose a friend and fall in love with them. We really only do this with our partners. It’s a special connection with a friend. The bond can feel impenetrable because we so want it to be and because we go into wholeheartedly.
When I was 18, one of my best friends was killed in a car accident. I was devastated because the loss was so abrupt and it felt so violent to have someone so crucial to my life gone in an instant. Its a shock, and still continues to be in someways, although the years have passed. I still think of Kevin everyday because he was someone that made a deep impact on my young life.
I had another best friend at that same period in my life that betrayed me over a boy. I ended up moving to Los Angeles and the day before I left she showed up because she had heard I was moving. I was so hurt by her actions that I wasn’t even going to say good-bye, yet prior, she had been a great confidante and filled up much of my life. Just like that it also ended. Both felt violent in someways and certainly left their marks. Sometimes events with friends, whether intended or not, knock you sideways. I have certainly had my heart broken by friendships in many ways through the years. As I enter my 40th year, I recognize how my expectations of my friends loyalty, care, kindness and integrity has left me bruised in some of the relationships. Expectations aren’t fair. People give what they are capable of giving, they show up in the places that are comfortable for them and they live at the capacity in which they are able. Being a friend means loving them for who they are and sometimes that means that you have to love them from afar.
As I grown into myself, so do my friendships. My friends span from ages 22-80. We connect for different reasons and on different levels. As I grow, I recognize that my family of friends is becoming more intimate, because I am choosing to connect on a deep and intimate level and this takes enormous trust and vulnerability on both ends. The most precious of my friendships are the ones that are at a deep level. These are the relationships where I can share my truest self, the one that isn’t always so pretty or brave, or sure what to do next. These are the relationships that celebrate my every victory beside me and encourage me to be authentically me no matter what it looks like. These are the friendships that love me as I am, not just the version of me that looks like them. This is the sisterhood that I so cherish and that I am recognizing that I want to devote myself to, and demonstrate to my daughters, because it is available. When these relationships show up in ones life, they are a true gift. Just like finding a love that will stand beside you through life. Both are equally a blessing to be cherished, fed and respected continually. As I ponder my relationships, as fate would have it, I stumbled upon this piece by an unknown author and it resonated. Let me know your thoughts…
Are You A Reason, Season, or a Lifetime?
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty; to provide you with guidance and support; to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. -Author Unknown
Here’s to my rainbow of friendships, thank you for the lessons, the ones that stung and the ones that brought me more joy imaginable. Both made my heart grow brave, big, wise and loving and showed me the woman that I am and am becoming.