December 16 – Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)
AS IF I haven’t explored friendship enough this year? :)
I’ve always had a pretty healthy view of friendship, even if my friendships haven’t always been healthy. I believe that there are degrees of relationships. From casual acquaintances, whom I wouldn’t necessarily classify as friends so much as people I know, to people I get to know well, but not in-depth - co-workers can often fall into this category. Then there are the people who you get to know in a deep, long-lasting way. The ones who know you and love you anyway - warts and all.
The inner circle of friends is the smallest, most exclusive group and it’s hard (for me) to allow people into that circle.
This year I got burned. I let someone get closer than I should have and they turned on me. While I was hurt and angry at first, I quickly realized that the depth of our relationship wasn’t all that deep. When I figured that out, the hurt and anger transformed into just feeling sorry for the other person. What might have become a long-lasting friendship was cut off over a misunderstanding that could have been easily explained - if they had listened.
What did I learn?
That I can’t force anyone to listen. I can’t force anyone to be rational.
True friendship is precious. I think that’s why it’s reserved for so few. It takes time to nurture and build and if one party isn’t interested, then it’s fruitless to try to force things along.
I’ve known these things for many years, but they were reinforced to me this year when I finally took a step toward letting go with less angst than ever before. The situation wasn’t any less stressful, but I could confidently say that I tried to resolve things amicably to no avail.
Now that it’s all over, I can remember the good things without rancor and I don’t feel any anger over the way we parted. It is ultimately for the best.
Sometimes life just goes that way and you have to accept it for what it is.