Saturday, April 16, 2011

Extinguishing the Torch: Friendship

How ironic that my last post was in celebration of friendship....

I despise conflict. It literally makes me break out in hives. If I am watching a television show and the plot takes a dastardly turn, I switch channels until things are back on even keel.

Even more than television, I despise conflict in my life.

I don't like to hurt anyone's feelings....which is probably why I hang onto relationships,particularly friendships which should have ended years ago. I keep telling myself: "This is temporary."

It's not.

These people have shown me who they are.

Time to believe them.

If friendship were an item, it would be one of those weighted scales, such as the scales of justice. For this example, let's use the ginormous version featured on Vh1's Celebrity Fit Club. When empty, the scales were perfectly balanced. But when Carnie Wilson, Bobby Brown and Kevin Federline were loaded in, the difference was drastic. Sometimes, one side would almost touch the ground while the other side seemed to be feather-light.

Our friendship(s) started out with us evenly matched. Side by side, we were equals. Then, life happened. Storms happened. I answered your phone calls and text messages; I cried with you and for you. I prayed with you and for you. The scales became unbalanced as you tossed your worries into my bowl. I dipped further; you soared higher. You came out of the valley and we celebrated.

I went into the valley and you....couldn't be bothered.

If you, like me, are going through that season where friends have become frenemies, consider this:

--You've changed. The most common reason for a dissolved friendship is simply growth. As time passes, your interests have changed; what once appealed to you seems rather trite at the moment. Pat yourself on the back, baby--that's what being an adult is all about.

--You are making room for new people in your life. Change makes my stomach hurt. Still, I've learned to embrace it instead of fearing it, especially in my friendships. By 25, I thought I had all the lifelong friends I would ever need. However, I have met some of the most amazing, humorous and loving people in the last 2 1/2 years....friends.

Indeed, change is good.

--Ending a friendship does not make you a bad person. I think this is the part I've been stuck on for awhile--getting rid of toxic friends was mean. After all, I am a Christian--I'm supposed to forgive and forget! I am supposed to "turn the other cheek!" I am supposed to "love my neighbor as myself!"

I did, I do and I will. But if I am to love all of God's people, that means I have to show love to myself.

You know what's really mean? Allowing myself to be treated any kind of way, as if that's the best I can receive; as if that is what I deserve. Holding onto bad friendships is like pressing your open palm against a stove set on high. There is only one action that is going to stop the pain...

Get your hand off the stove.

Friends, associates, strangers and everybody else, be encouraged.


1 comment:

  1. Sometimes, God makes a way for you to rid yourself of toxic friends....and other times He wants you to do it for yourself. Either way, God knows what's best for you and who you need to surround yourself with in your life. We all go through seasons in life, and for some....the season of friendship is over, and that's okay. But, if a friendship is like a must be cultivated, watered, and fertilized in order to grow. And sometimes, inspite of all your effort, it withers and dies. But the good news is, you can always plant another one. Keep the faith....and awesome entry, chica! M.T.