FRIENDSHIP – Why isn’t it easier?
I have heard it said before that, “if it weren’t for imperfect friends, we wouldn’t have any friends at all.” A similar statement was made in an old song by a favorite artist of mine, Rich Mullins, saying, “My friends ain’t the way I wish they were; they are just the way they are.” Isn’t this true? Haven’t we all experienced this component of friendship?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve personally felt disappointed by my friends. And, for so many different reasons. Some, for being too distant. For not returning my texts. For forgetting to stay in contact and making me question my own value as a friend and a person. Others, for being too careless in their own lives. Some have made big mistakes or gone down bad roads — ones that I was not willing to follow them down.
At times I’ve felt a strong sense of regret for the people I’ve chosen to invest in. I’ve wished I could go back in time and form bonds with other people – ones who cared just as much about me, who were as interested as me in investing in the friendship, and who didn’t make such bad life choices that it forced a distance to form in the friendship.
But, I don’t have a time machine. Nor do I have time to spend the rest of my life regretting. History is what it is. At this point, my only two real options are: 1. Start forming new bonds. 2. Start reinvesting in bonds that have already been made, which most likely need some strengthening.
I have chosen to do both of these things. At least, to some extent. I have decided that it’s time to get over my own frustrations that I associate with certain people. It’s time to get over certain hurts and to stop focusing so much on how I feel. Instead, focus on how other people feel. Because, that’s what connecting is about anyway. It’s about other people.
When I see it that way, it helps me feel less hurt. Less frustrated. Less regretful. It makes me overlook other people’s faults. And, this is a good thing, because all of those sayings about friendship also apply to me. Or, in other words, I too come with my own faults and weaknesses. I too have been bad at being a friend. I too have made tons of mistakes that my friends will have to overlook. If I overlook theirs, maybe it will give them incentive to overlook mine. Isn’t that a better approach?
Doesn’t this make more sense than sitting and sulking and waiting for the phone to ring? Doesn’t this make more sense than wallowing in frustration and regret? I think so.
I think we need to recognize the fact that friendship is hard. Relationships are hard. There isn’t a single one that’s worthwhile that isn’t going to require some maintenance. Some grace. Some patience. In some cases, some starting over.
If you’re interested in reading more about relevant relationship realizations, please take a look at my newest book, called “How To Connect With The People In Your Life.” It has to do with what we’ve already discussed, plus so much more. If you are looking to start, build, or restore connections with anybody in your life, then I think that this book has a lot to offer you.
As an author (and as a fellow reader), I thank you sincerely for taking the time to read this. Please feel free to download any of my free audiobooks, which you will find available in my Downloads section.