Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Friendship Reflections - Part II

I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent.  
Caring for myself is an act of survival.  
- Audre Lorde 

Adult friendship is a part of my survival.  I thank God for the women who love me fully, and know me fully, too.  I don't always make the mark - I often fall short of who I aspire to be in this regard.  Today, however, I'm reminded about the blessings of true friendship.  Those people who help you remember who you are... 

I had an experience early in my relocation that led me to write Friendship Reflections  that knocked my foundation, and my understanding about adult friendships, a bit. I asked a friend to do me a favor that I assumed was no big deal.  I was living in Indiana, my life was still oriented in Michigan - and I was in store for a major life lesson. When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.  It's a Maya Angelou quote I've shared often, but I can't say I've gotten that much better at heading the warning that is inherent. 

When you are in need of a friend, life situations are a Big Deal.  All of those years ago, my foundation was turned on its ear because my vision of friendship has been clear since I declared Alisha my Wonder Woman Sister at age 5.  As an adult woman I cherish those relationships and cherish the life lessons too.  To everything there is a season, and when the warning signs are all around, we have to learn to listen. I often talk to my teenage daughter about friendship.  She read a recent exchange that I had with someone, then offered, "Wow mom, she's not that nice to you." She didn't know the whole story, but she was smart enough to examine the situation.  We can learn a lot from the young women we are raising.

My original post lamented, the only person to examine in a friendship looks back at you every morning. I'd like to see that inscribed on a necklace somewhere or made into a Pandora charm. I was speaking wisdom and I didn't even realize the extent.  When this past week had me reflecting on my countless blessings, and the sadness of disappointment in people, I was reminded of the original post.  One reason to blog is because it helps you keep a running perspective of your own life.  Maybe you are able to help someone else along the way.

Everyone should have a friend that makes them want to be better.  Everyone should have a friend that inspires them to be more thoughtful, more proactive, more creative, more innovative, more patient.... MORE.  Proverbs 27:17 says, "
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."  I am in the process of being sharpened.  Every person should have a friend that not only makes them want to be more, but someone who makes them stop long enough to recognize, they are ENOUGH, too.  Jesus told Mary's haters, "She did what she could."  I'm learning to be okay with my legacy during various seasons being that "I did what I could."

As an adult woman, I have had people share with me, "We're going to be friends." I laughed.  I thought it odd someone could make that announcement without my consent.  I have now learned, listen more - talk less.  I have had the blessing of persistent inquiry create relationships that I could not live without - a caution that I should be more patient in realizing that I do not understand every aspect of my journey.  Sometimes God sends you what you never knew you needed, but you always wanted. 

What if adult women...

1. Cheered for Each Other.

2. Judged less, but HELPED more. 

3. Said Thank YOU. 

4. Said I'm Sorry, and meant it. 

5. Forgave.

6. Worked to be the FRIEND that they find that they need.  

I imagine you have some Friendship Reflections of your own.  Today I celebrate these reflections - big and small.  I also pray for my circle of friends - those who I talk to every day, and those who have helped me grow along the way.  I'm better for the experiences that I've had.  I'm learning, just live long enough - life is a work in progress.  What have you learned about friendship along the way? 

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