For every friend that fades away, someone new appears or someone old comes back, in a kind of homeostasis that is undeniable. Changes in our roster of friends are just part of living –especially living a long time. If you’re young and can’t even imagine this, just wait. You’ll see.
Sometimes storms buffet a relationship, other times all it takes is a light wind to shift it off track. And then, like sun breaking through clouds, friendships can return. What a joy! Friendship renewed is a real gift.
No one holds a grudge like a Sicilian and since I’m of Sicilian descent, there’s been a whole bunch of fading away or just leaving in my family and friends circle. Storms, winds, and nothing at all have broken bonds, some I’d thought were strong, others were always tenuous.
Fortunately, holding a grudge isn’t one of my talents. Neither is leaving.
That’s why I’ve been well-positioned to receive the blessings of old friendships that went away (based on misunderstandings and other stupid stuff) and then, out of nowhere, and then were renewed in bigger and better ways. Having withstood some mighty tests, these relationships returned even richer and more valued by everyone involved. Yes, friendship renewed is a precious gift.
Gay Husband had some wisdom on this subject when we talked not too long ago:
Great thoughts. The tests of time–boy, is time a hard taskmaster when it comes to any kind of relationship. But really, even if a friendship disappears, the bonds are still there, just waiting to be re-attached. If we choose to link back up.
A few weeks back I spent the afternoon with a longtime sister-friend. Some years ago the friendship broke. I had no idea why, because I promise you that I am always the last to know. Call me clueless.
Our distance lasted a long time. We’re very different, but we come from the same background. You might say we’re from the same place, even though I don’t mean it literally. Over the years I missed her and the depth of understanding she brought to my life.
Be honest. How many people really see you? REALLY KNOW YOU? Probably not that many. Roots like that take a long time to grow. They’re valuable.
This year, we had an opportunity to sit down together and make it right. Lo and behold: our bond had weathered the storm. We both saw the value of our connection and the friendship is back in balance. What a gift it is, to have someone you love and who REALLY KNOWS YOU back in your life. It’s a gift more valuable than the rarest gem.
Here’s the reality: We’re all imperfect. As my Gay Husband points out, we must understand each other’s fragilities and forgive shortcomings. Because we all have them. No one is immune. The basis of a good friendship is the ability to put all that in context and you know what? It’s worth it.
For the most part, people aren’t malicious. (But I do know a few who actually DO mean harm. You might, too, and in those cases, we are all well-rid of those relationships.)
And then, sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture.
I’m reminded of a friend, now passed, who had some major personality issues. Big ones. As a result, he didn’t treat the people around him well and left some damage in his wake. Even though he hurt people I love, I saw him clearly and still cared about him. He wasn’t a malicious guy. He meant no harm. He never said a bad word about anyone.
He was just flawed.
I hated the behavior, but I loved him.
I try to keep that in mind when I look around because we’re all flawed. None of us is perfect and if we think we are, well, we’re wrong.
Don’t know about you, but I am always appreciating, enjoying and yes, even evaluating my friendships from time to time. It’s like any other system: good friendship health is key to a happy life.
Have you had to weather the storms of friendship? Have you been lucky enough to have a friendship renewed?
Tell us, below!