I recently had a wake up call with one of my friends.
This is a friend of mine whom I love more than I can even say.
As time has passed we have grown apart, and my heart longed for the old times.
I know that sounds dramatic, but I really can’t think of a better way to put it.
You see, friends mean the world to me. True friends. Real friends. The kind of friends who almost feel like they had to be long lost sisters, or the kind of friends you almost certainly feel are kindred spirits.
Those type of friends don’t come along very often, and when they do, I want to hold on tight to them – just as each of us should.
As I’ve grown older I’ve made dozens of friends. I’m social. I love being around people. I’d like to think I’m non judgmental and accepting. I don’t discriminate, so my friends come from all walks of life, all beliefs, with all sorts of habits and interests. I’ve been on both sides, so I have no ill will towards anyone who lives their life differently from me. As a matter of fact, it just makes my life a little more colorful, and I enjoy that. **smile**
Anyway, for the few who have come in to my life and really really touched me – the ones I’ve gotten to know – and the ones who have gotten to know the real most raw me – those are the friends I cherish more than anything. And I’m proud I can say I’m that kind of person. I know not everyone has the ability to let their guard down. I count this as a blessing.
It can also be painful though too. With those few people I have let it, I’m much more vulnerable when something feels “off”, goes “wrong”, or whatever the case may be. Of course with real friends that really shouldn’t be an issue, but from time to time it is.
For awhile now my heart’s been hurting because things again felt “off”, and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. I wanted to. I longed to. I tried reaching out time and time again only to have my attempts fail and fall on deaf ears. After awhile I felt scorned, neglected, hopeless, hurt, and to be honest, a little upset. Time went on and as it did I found myself trying a little less as the resentment built up inside. I still missed them more than anything in the world but now a new void had taken over as my heart became more callous.
I felt alone.
I felt abandoned.
…and my natural reaction was to force myself to move on. Not look back. Be strong. Change the way I’d been for the past 41 years because I was tired of being hurt. I was determined to not be that person. But deep inside even as much as I convinced myself to be strong, I hurt.
Yesterday my friend and I caught up.
It was time to “air out” but hopefully in a productive way – neither one of us wanting to be confrontational.
And as we talked, I was brought to a new realization.
What I thought had happened wasn’t at all what she thought had happened. What I thought for sure was so clear to me wasn’t at all clear to her. As a matter of fact we were on complete opposite sides of the spectrum.
Misconceptions. I thought one thing. She thought another. Yet we both felt hurt, rejected, and alone.
This entire time she’d thought I’d pulled away. I was the one to “dis” a smile, avoid a wave, or turn the other way. I was the one who’d turned down invites on more than one occasion. I was the one who was seemingly too busy to get together. I was the one who didn’t pick up and rarely returned phone calls.
And it hurt for me to hear that.
But I needed to.
Regardless of whether I was right or she was right solely, I think we were both right to some extent because we’d both had those feelings. We’d both missed each other. We’d both avoided talking to one another about it because we both were too busy trying to justify it, sweep it under the rug, or hope with time things would change.
But instead with time the hurt was still there and resentment continued to build even though we tried to let each “thing” roll off our backs.
I realize now she was right. Anything she felt had to be real. I had to have done those things; otherwise I never would have given her that impression.
As we parted ways yesterday we both had tears in our voices, but we left on good terms. We ended our discussion knowing our slate was clean. We’d both shared, owned up, and forgiven – a real forgiveness – not empty apologies.
A little part of my broken longing heart was mended.
Since then I have continued to wrestle with my actions wondering what I did all these months to make her feel the way she did. I’ve gone over what I could remember in detail thinking of what I could have done differently and what I will do differently to make sure I don’t repeat the process. I’m sure she is doing the same.
What I realized though and the reason I am even writing this is because we can get so caught up in what we think is right that we sometimes forget it’s actually possible that we might be wrong. Heaven forbid.
True loving friends come so rarely. Like a marriage they need nurturing. They need love. They need tending to like a garden in order to grow.
I thought I was a good friend before. I know my heart, and I know how much love is in it. But now I know I have so much more work to do, but it’s a good thing. I will be more aware of my actions and will love unconditionally just as I try to love my husband, so that there is never any room for doubt. Real friends are worth it.
XO – Momma