I have done a lot of thinking about friendships of late. I have seen some long term relationships come to an end. Friendships can be a delicate and fragile balance or they can be strong and healthy.
In most cases we forgive much more in our friendship relationships than we do in our partner relationships. Things that might annoy us in our daily partner relationships we let go in our friendship one and mostly because it isn’t a daily living situation.
I believe there are many levels of friendship as well. There is the friend that you shop with, one that you do sporting events with, one you may travel with, one you party with, one you keep up with on birthdays and other celebratory occasions, then there are the friends that you would tell everything to and and trust everything to.
Like all other interactions in our lives, these relationships are there as a learning tool. We will always find something to learn from them even when it is sour.
How much would you give to a friendship? When is enough enough? When do you pull back? When do you push forward?
For me, when I look back over the years of friends I see how I learned to distance and learned to crave. Sounds like an oxymoron I know. As a young girl I was in foster care and made a great friend in foster care. When I was adopted, my parents could not afford both of us so my relationship with the one person I trusted was wiped out. I was a scared little girl who didn’t know anyone until school started. I met some kids but that soon was put in the past as we moved to another city where I attended high school for one year before we moved yet again to another province. I made some friends in the beginning and was looking forward to going to high school with them. However, the first day of school I was called to the principal’s office and told that because my family was Catholic I would have to go the Catholic School. So once again I left my friends behind and went to yet another school. That was for one year and then into senior high where I was with my friends again. However that too was short lived and we moved back to our original province and I attended high school for 2 years. So it would seem that there really was never time to solidify those relationships.
As an adult I looked for people I thought I could confide in, laugh with, trust and respect. That has not always been the case. When I was diagnosed with cancer, two people that I thought were my closest friends hung up. These 18 years later I have still not heard from one of them and the other I heard from after 9 years.
I don’t think I would change the people that I have interacted with in my 60 years. As I said earlier, every person has been in my life for a reason and a season. Even though at times I wish I had not been so trusting, I do know that person had a purpose for me.
No matter how much we believe we know another human being, we do not know it all. It only takes one shift in momentum to have someone’s true behaviour surface. It can be quite shocking and certainly it may feel like betrayal. How could you put so much love, trust, and respect towards another human being and be so wrong? I have no answer for that but I do know that I personally, will not change who I am as a human being.
How much would you give to a friendship? Personally I will continue to give all the love and respect, laughter and trust that I have.
When is enough enough? When do you pull back? When morals, values, and beliefs are violated. Morals, values and beliefs are important and therefore stand by them even when “my friend” doesn’t.
When do you push forward? When you are being a friend out of the truth of love, caring and sharing.
A Course In Miracles says, “Forgiveness is the key to Happiness”. So chose to forgive and move on. There are still many people to trust, respect, love and honor.