Monday, April 4, 2011

Friendship

As a "grown up" I'm never quite sure how to make real, grown up friends. We have made good relationships at church, some through Gibbs' workplace, but other than that, it's a pretty tough thing to do! We are married, with three kids, so our schedule isn't built for the type of friendships I have grown accustomed to.

In high school, my group of girl friends were... well, we were almost cult-ish. We went to an all girls high school, and my girl friends were REAL friends. We spent a lot of time talking, regularly got mad at each other, expected a LOT from each other, forgave each other, and gave a lot to each other. It was just so nice and genuine, and there was rarely any pressure on us to be something we weren't.

In the real "adult" world, I just think we are all trying so hard to be perfect. I see this so much in the Christian circles (more so than I did in college) and it seems that the right things are always being said, the right attitude is always being conveyed, and to be honest, it's exhausting for me to pretend to be perfect (ok, fine, maybe some of you are closer to perfection than I am, and it's not so exhausting)  I'm not sure what this stems from, but my guess is just fear of rejection or judgement.

I catch myself sometimes leaving play dates wondering if I said one genuine thing the whole time I was there, or if I left bible study having revealed any of the real struggles that I dealt with that week. My fear being that if I was vulnerable, that someone might think less of me. Think I'm less of a wife, mother, Christian...

But I know that God has made me to have relationships. He says that if he could sum up all of the law and the prophets, it would be to love your neighbor as yourself. How can we love our neighbors if we don't know them?  How can they love me, if I don't allow myself to be really known?

A very great friend said to me this weekend that she just always puts herself out there as honestly as she can (and i know this to be true after knowing her for 11 years!)  and if someone doesn't like her for a reason out of her control, then she doesn't worry about it. Ugh! To be that secure in myself, knowing that I tried my hardest to be myself, and be kind, compassionate, and loving, and being o.k. if someone rejected me.... well, I haven't gotten there yet. But I would like to. I think it would result in a lot more "real" friendships and a lot less anxiety worrying about being someone I can't be.

3 comments:

  1. That's so true, Steph. It's hard to know what is real and what isn't and who is real and who isn't. I just try to remember that I will always let people down and they will always let me down because we're all so human, but then I try to be as honest as I can about my struggles...yet, then I wonder if I'm "causing others to stumble" if I show my own weaknesses. I dunno...it's tough out there...so glad we're not home yet!

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  2. I think I said it before, but I have seen that when I am honest with my struggles, others tend to open up. I believe that my friends still act sometimes, but at least we know we can get to another level too. The support and giving support is such a wonderful thing.

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  3. ;) so well said I will throw you a slope birthday party!

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