A friend of mine thought I had “snitched” about an issue important to her.
That wasn’t the case. Somehow, someone found out and that news had gone through the land. Often the way it does when you belong to a brown, tight knit community.
She was not happy with me.
She was so unhappy with me that she spent months convinced that I had been the one who told. In fact, she was so convinced, she could not believe anyone else could do it.
I told her time and time again that I had not snitched. She was still convinced it was me.
It created distance, distrust, and ultimately a rift in our relationship.
I would like to believe I am someone who doesn’t get shaken by someone’s opinion of me.
But, I am shaken. I am human and I can’t help myself. This “shaken-ness” is only amplified when that opinion of me is from someone I love, care for, and respect.
It hurts to be misunderstood by someone you thought knew you.
When I got married, I learned the harsh reality that my friendships defined me. After the thrill of the wedding season, I found many of the people I loved became busy with life. It was hard to stay connected.
Plus, I got busy – I had a whole new family and a whole husband. I was wrapping my head around a huge life transition.
It was hard to commit, stay in touch, and difficult to let others in the way I wanted to. I didn’t have time for the hours of quality time I once was able to give.
This sent me in a downward spiral – I found myself in a place of “not enough”, “not good enough”, and “not in control.”
Distance only made it harder. This year, I lived in three cities which created greater distance from the people I run to to feel rooted and whole.
Most of my life I have used friendship to define my worth because I didn’t have much self-worth to begin with.
Validation, acceptance, and connection in friendship was my ways of filling my holes. Holes in my heart that felt rejected, unloved, and underserving.
As a younger person, I would fill these holes with romantic relationships. If you’re a woman who has been burned by romantic relationships, you realize this gets old quickly.
I craved this validation. When I didn’t get it, I found myself unstable, lost, and confused about my identity.
In friendship, I was known, validated, and complete. In friendship, I could find others to give me the confidence in my identity that I couldn’t see.
It didn’t carry the complications that a romantic relationship did. There was no fear of end or having to make a decision to move forward. It is stable, stagnant, and true.
God is doing the difficult thing of showing me that relationships should not be your source.
The more I grow up, the more I learn some of my relationships were about me and the way I felt about myself.
They allowed me to call myself a “good friend”, “reliable”, and “committed”.
Your relationships should not make you waver in who you are.
Your relationships help you grow, learn, and becoming more of yourself.
Your relationships should challenge, convict, and motivate you.
Relationships should be two-way. People should make time for you. They should care. They should ask questions. They should be committed to you.
I haven’t been this way for everyone. I’ll admit, especially in the last few years, some of my friendships have been difficult to maintain. Time has changed me. I am not able to be this friend for the people that need me.
Or, those people realized they don’t need me to be the person they need to become.
We should challenge our motivation in relationships.
It’s hard to find your people. I think it’s worth it to take inventory of who are the people who been life giving, concerned, and cared for you. Who have pressed, but always known that goodness lives inside of you?
As time becomes harder to make, I want every moment I spend in commune to be purposeful, whole, and meaningful. I want every word and minute I spend to be because I want to be there.
I don’t want to force it. I don’t want to waste time.
I want to trust that when I give my time and energy – it will be received with thoughtfulness, commitment, and a genuine belief that I am good.
Because I am good.
I am good enough. I am whole.
And if that means that people leave you because they don’t see it, well I say good riddance.