lessons in friendship

This last year has been about friendships for me; who’s in, who’s out.

There has been great beauty in all of it and also deep, excruciating pain. The beauty and the pain have come hand in hand – gain a friend, lose a friend.

There are places in my heart that are still so deeply wounded that I can’t yet write about them.

Some day.

Last week I had the glaring contrast of letting go of a beloved friend and embracing two gals for whom my heart will always have space and love.

The ones that I’ve lost help me appreciate the ones that I’ve gained and the women that I have, the deepest love, shine a light on the flaws in other relationships.

In other words – the friends who show up provide a glaring contrast to those who don’t. And once seen, those discrepancies cannot be unseen.

Years ago, my friend DD said to me, “If a friendship isn’t feeding your soul, then let go of it.”

That’s been really hard for me. I want people to like me. I want to be seen as a nice person. I hate feeling like the bad guy. I hate thinking that people perceive me as angry or crazy – someone to avoid.

I can beat myself up pretty badly.

And that’s where the flip side of the coin comes in.

I have people who have supported and loved and laughed at, and with, me. I have people who love me despite my ugly.

Some might even love my ugly, or at least they tolerate it.

The relationships that feed me help with the loneliness and pain caused by the ones that don’t, but nothing can make the grief vanish. Just like the people who hurt me so badly can’t take away the love that I receive from others.

I so wish that I could just forget about the hurt, the betrayal, the isolation. I wish that reveling in the love erased the not-love.

But, if that could happen then the opposite could happen too; the pain could erase the warm embrace given to me by so many.

And we wouldn’t want that to happen, now, would we?





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