As Merriam Webster defines the word above, I've been on an introspective journey to search the perimeters of my own definition as it applies to me and mine. Wondering if the saying people are in your life for a reason, season or lifetime is and should be applicable when it comes to your "friends."
Seems easy enough to make 'em...seems quite complex to keep 'em in some cases. Not everyone is equip with the goodies when the relationship gets tested...and they always do. Or perhaps we each come to the table with our own definition and therefore expectations, of how our friends should hold us down through the good, bad and the ugly.
I'm kinda starting to see people as they really are and not as I'd like them to be. That's been eye opening. Not projecting my expectations on folk and accepting exactly what they put forth has awakened me not only about them, but about me. I've learned that I am still learning...and that's ok. Growing pains are just that...but in the words of my all time fav group N.E., can you stand the rain?!
The characteristics of friendship as I see it and express it: communication, reciprocity, loyalty (although I do think the word itself is overdone and is really an extentsion of committment), acceptance, honesty, trust, authenticity and unconditional love (as truely defined in 1 Corinthians 13). My BFF's are the ride or die type of folk that not only give that to moi, but challenge me as well. We do that for each other. There is no checklist...Not sure if there ever has been because we just flow. I've desired that ease with all peeps I let in but that hasn't always been the case. I am slowly learning to accept that not everyone is equally as committed to me as I may be to them. Ain't that nothin! But I am also learning that the word "friend" is a loose term, and I am careful how I use it now.
The degree to which you let someone into your space - mental, emotional, physical, spiritual - is one that takes work. ALL relationships take work, and if you are the type of person who isn't committed to the process of investing your time, energy or resources guess what, it WON'T work. Duh! Seems simple enough. Yet I've wondered why I appear to be the one who is surprised when it isn't working?!
These past few months of my life have introduced me back to myself and reconnected me to the true qualities I really love about myself. And what I realized is that the qualities I love about myself, I bring that out of others. I'm treading so lightly these days in everything and with everyone because I got burned. My mom always said, "what you don't hear, you're going to feel." And am I ever feelin it! But I recover beautifully. I always have. I'm a survivor. I may be down, but NEVER count the kid out. Always been a thinker...some have dared to say I over-think, but I'm not hearing that. Empathy goes a long way when you are looking at someone else..it gives you a glimpse into the mirror if you open your eyes.
What about YOUR friends?! How do you roll?