The topic of friendships has occupied a large part of my thoughts as of late. What makes them? what makes some of them stick for a life time, and others fall away like a leaf that dries up and is blown away by the wind? What makes some worth fighting for and others not, and how do we know the difference in the moment?
I am not talking about those “friends” that are acquaintances, or that are in your life for one specific thing. Rather, I am talking about the ones that I have invested in, opened our hearts to. Those relationships that have made it in to the inner parts of me.
It is a mystery why they take the shapes that they can take. Take my friendships with a couple of really dear friends ….time can lapse between our visits… sometimes huge lapses of time. Yet, when I get together with any of them, it is as if not even a day has passed. I think that this is true because we have weathered some storms. The friendship has been tested over the span of time and held. We’ve laughed together, cried together and even plotted life (and death) together… Not really… but…. 🙂 We no longer have to define who we are to one another. We know. We no longer have to apologize for who we are, there is no need. They know me better than I know myself, and love me without condition and without condemnation and are my biggest cheerleaders…. and totally shovel ready.
Then there are others. Ones that you cannot imagine your life without, but they aren’t easy. For what ever the reason they have survived the tests of time, but are still unproven. Their words say one things while their actions say another. Yet time and time again against all logic I choose to believe the words. I want to believe the words. I want to put in the time. Press in close and find solid footing…. but it isn’t easy. I cannot let go, I am not ready to let go, but there isn’t enough to hold on to. I pray for the day, that it will cross over into the land of the friendships I have with others…. but, my fear is that it will just one day dry up and hit the ground, and blow away into a memory.. and maybe that is okay too. Yep, even some of those that we never dreamed about being without, fall away, taking with them parts of us, leaving a pain that only time can find comfort for.
I find it amusing when I hear, “we will always be friends, no matter what,” from someone who isn’t willing to put in the time. I wonder if they really know what would happen if I wasn’t working so hard… putting in the time for the both of us…. do they care?
I have learned over time that all friendships are fragile. They need care and nurturing, they require time and input and honesty and grace but more than anything they need a place in your heart to call home.
I am not sure why some are worth fighting for, and others not. I don’t even know if one could call it friendship if you have to fight for it to the point of exhaustion, when on days you feel that you are the only one fighting for it.
I think back to the friendships that I enjoy that work. There is a brilliant ease about them. They are joy filled. There is a mutual admiration. A mutual longing that says, “I miss you, let’s get together.” There is a collective willingness to drop “life” and make room for one another in each of our very busy lives. A regular inquiry on whether we are each getting what we need from the other. There is an honesty, a vulnerability, and a palpitate love. It is “easy” now, because we have taken the time to work it all out from the beginning. I never doubt my place in their lives, because their actions line up with their words.
Recently I was told to just “let” one friendship be… just to not worry about it. That it will be okay just floating out there on it’s own. I don’t know if that is true. To many times I have seen people take that approach and watch what they never thought could die, do exactly that. But, I also know that I cannot continue to hold on so tight that there is nowhere for it to go, no room for it to find it’s way even if that is to fall on the ground and be blown away by the winds of time.
As I ponder this somewhat complicated topic the only thing that I know for certain is (to quote Jane Austen) “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
When my life is over, I want my friends to be able to say, I didn’t love half way.
I cannot be other than I am . I am a passionate girl. Either ALL in or ALL out… and I suspect that I require the same from those that I call friend. Perhaps that is why those that have that title in my life, who live it, and walk it, and have earned it. Bring me the amount of joy that they do.
I cannot image that I will ever leave a friendship to chance. It isn’t who I am .. perhaps understanding that about me is the price of friendship.