This Unknown person is a wealth of information, wouldn’t you say? This time I think he got it wrong, or at the very least forgot how standing at the door can offer an opportunity to fix or mend a relationship, if the parties have mutually agreed it’s worth saving.
I had a thoughtful lunch the other day with Amy, I’m thankful for her friendship. Coincidentally, we had a conversation about friendship. Don’t most women? First it was a conversation about our relationship and about how thankful we were that we had made time for each other. Of course, we both offered reasons why we didn’t get together more often and then spent time revisiting our similar interests. Finally, as most conversations go, we spent a few hours in a deep conversation about what may be bothering one another. Apparently, we’re open books when it comes to our feelings. She noticed how raw I was over starting this blog and I noticed she was conflicted with her own obstacles.
As most friends do we offer up advice, often times playing the devil’s advocate. As you all know, I much prefer to be the advice giver and most assuredly not the one on the receiving end of it. However, she realized at one point that her road of hard knocks had provided a chance for her to help me.
I had opened her up for a bona-fide teaching moment.
Aren’t I too old for that??
We were discussing how to manage who gets an active role in our lives, better yet, who we allow to impact our lives and what makes a broken relationship worth saving.
We discussed limits, safe zones, parameters and protecting our hearts. This examination opened up relevance in my personal life, but also here on WordPress. I began thinking about how I care for my relationships on-line and in person.
It’s amazing how many blogs there are in the world. It’s mind-boggling actually.
When we blog, we allow virtually anyone inside our minds and then usually allow them to comment. As bloggers, it’s what we signed up for, so it’s no surprise when the welcomed banter begins and continues for days. When one creative person finds another it can be quite amusing, to say the least. Friendships are born through a commonality, no matter how small, which allows for healthy communication about each others interests. This is the pretty side of on-line friendships.
Sometimes this open road leads to disagreements, questions of morality and often an opportunity to redefine of our opinions or to hold onto them with an unyielding grip. Then there’s other times where we’re just 100% ticked off by something someone has said and it’s left us screaming mad. We have two choices, call off the follow or accept their position, right or wrong, and move forward. This is the murky side of friendship building on-line. Is there a third option? I’d like to say yes.
Many people I follow on here are adults, some younger and some older. I think we’re all quite capable of open conversation and dialog, if we’re interested. I suppose it becomes harder to shift through who people really are, which makes it tough to identify sincerity. It’s a case by case situation where blogging’s concerned.
However, when tending to our active friendships, I wonder if we should allow for the same limitations? Is it a take it or leave it situation? Don’t we owe these friendships a chance to fix themselves? Instead of option #1 or #2, shouldn’t we offer an option #3, don’t we owe it ourselves?
When we refer to someone as a friend, we’ve agreed to the timeless and hospitable rules of friendship, haven’t we? Love me/ I’ll love you, invest in you/invest in me, honor me/honor you, and so goes the beautiful dance into, what we desire, a life long friendship.
How far are we agreeing to go? This is something we have to consider because of the time we’ve invested in the friendship, sometimes we realize that we’re way more invested than the other guy happens to be. Inevitably, friendships will go through growing pains as we question trust, moments of suspicious motives, and even loyalty. It’s those questionable moments when impending problems appear.
The pattern before a crisis is what we tend to miss, because we find trust in the process of friendship. We’re willing to overlook and excuse behavior that should have been caught long before the crisis came along. When caught, we can quickly approach the situation and clear things up. When we don’t, then we’re left with the conundrum of letting the behavior go, stepping up and having the hard conversation or walking away. At some point we all have to make decisions on the suitable thing to do. These decisions are never obvious, and unfortunately most of the time no one walks away unharmed.
We all suffer.
Emotions run high.
None of us are the perfect friend poster-child. We’ve all handled differences incorrectly, often times we act like children, instead of owning up to our end of the dilemma which can quickly solve the issue. Child like behavior going on between two adults can provide quite the show. Often times people love to watch this unfold and they sit up chairs like they’re at the zoo, slurpees and all.
To allow for healing in either arena, the first place we start is somewhere around honest communication. We lay it out there for them to see. This includes our thoughts, feelings and what we perceive the problem to be. There’s dialogue and then a possibility of healing the friendship, because at the root there is always love. A forgiveness has to take place and usually between all involved, if we want the friendship to continue. The recognition, conversations, and the forgiving may be hard, but they’re all worth it.
We’ve all been through them and have come out the other side much stronger.
Once we’re back on track, after the problems have been fixed, we allow everyone to pass by and take a look at the imaginary billboard that holds up the new faces of the improved friendship. The faces we worked our butts off for and deemed worthy of fixing, have been pieced together with glue, tape, modge-podge and ticky-tack and they look beautiful.
In the end after the dust falls the commonality, the bloggers and active friends alike, are aware that the friendship is different. We’ve noticed that the parameters have changed. We’ve noticed because you’ve agreed to be seen in public with them again. Usually, when we, (presumably the neighborhood) notice the adjustment we accept it as growing pains and offer a nod of kudos, acknowledging the effort made by doing the free-style dance version of friendship. ~ Blessings, O. D. R. S.