Sunday, August 21, 2011
Now that we have had the craziness of the hurricane, we see all the more how important our time with them was. They brought such joy and peace to us, and that carried us through our evacuation and the days to follow.
It has me pondering the role that friends hold in my life. The older I get, the more I realize that I get by not with just "a little help from my friends", but rather I get by with a lot of help from my friends. This past winter, I really realized that. While going through what we did, it gave me the gift of analyzing exactly what friendship is to me. It gave me the chance to evaluate what I want from my closest friends and why it was necessary to ask for that from someone that is a close friend of mine.
Barb has played a significant role in all of this for me. While I was sorting through one friendship in particular this past winter and sharing it all with Nathan, he wasn't quite understanding clearly what I was explaining to him. During this same time we met up with Barb and John for a few hours in Florida and as we left he said, I can see now why you are so frustrated with that friendship. Barb and your friends like her have spoiled you. They are such good friends to you, why would you want to settle for something that is so much less than what they are willing to give you?
And he was exactly right. I have friends like Barb that have set a higher standard in my life than I would have asked for myself, and they have shown me that I don't have to settle for friends that are only there when things are happy and fun if I don't want to. I am so grateful for that. It doesn't mean I don't still love the other friends in my life, just that I don't want to put as much time and energy there at this point in my life.
He said he was in awe at how well Barb knows who I am and how supportive she is of me being..well, me. I agree. I hope I give the same to her in return. Because at the end of the day, isn't that all you can really hope for in a friend-that they work at knowing the real you and appreciating the real you? Not to say my friends like Barb don't speak up when truth needs to be spoken to me. They do. Boy, do they sometimes! And they still love me and stick by me even then. Because I trust how much they do know me, I trust their input.
They also let me share honestly with what I see in their life without taking offense, even if they disagree. If something is a big deal to one of us, we don't downplay that or try to talk them out of seeing it that way. We let it be what it is to them. If someone is sad or depressed, we honor that as much as much as if they were happy and full of joy. We work at adjusting our behaviors where who we are is spilling over onto each other in ways that hurt or cause stress for the other, while still remaining true to who we are. And this particular group of women that I am talking about has managed to do this for about a decade now. I hope we are still there for each other for many more decades.
I value friendship far more than I ever did when I was younger. I wonder if that won't continue to be more and more true the older I get. I hope so, because when a friendship is a good one, it is a rare and precious thing.
Thank you, my friend, and all of you women in this particular circle of my friends. You all rock!