Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friend or Foe

Friendship. It is defined as a person known well to another and regarded with liking, affection, and loyalty.

I LOVE my friends. Friday I was able to spend the entire day with people whom I like & have affection for and whom I am loyal to - and it was a glorious day! I started the day off by having coffee with a friend I haven't talk to for about three years. We chatted and laughed and had real deep conversation for two hours. It was wonderful to reconnect and just "be" with one another. And then I went and played in the pool with "my girls" from the gym. We soaked up the sun, laughed ourselves silly, and just spent time chatting and sewing into each others lives. These ladies are like my big sisters/my "moms" and I adore each and every one of them. And then I met my friend and her son for dinner and laughed myself silly and just enjoyed a time of just being totally comfortable in my own skin and free to be myself and speak my mind freely without judgement. And as I was driving home from dinner, I was thinking how I always feel really beautiful when I'm around this specific friend, and I wondered what that was about. And I think the preceding sentence sums it up. I feel beautiful when I'm around her because she loves me for me and allows me the freedom to just be and not worry about what she will think. I know that she is a safe person to be the authentic Stacie Brown with, and I am so grateful for that!

And as I think about this relationship and how life giving it is, I think about other "friendships" I have that are not life giving at all. They are actually the opposite, which would mean they are killing. And I think about a couple relationships in particular that I am for some reason trying so desperately to cling onto. And I'm not sure what it is I'm trying to save because there really isn't anything worth saving about these relationships. These friendships, seem to me, to be friendships of convenience and I only hear from them when I am of value to them - they want a favor or advice or affirmation. And they sew into me until they get what they want, and then they are gone. And I'm left feeling jilted and tossed aside. Hurt. Wounded. Rejected. I always feel like I'm trying to prove that I'm worth loving. But for some strange reason, I am a glutton for punishment, and even though I know this will happen each and every time, I allow these friends back into my life and the story always plays out the same way. And I don't know if it's because I have this hope that things will end up being different or what it is. One of my friends always tells me I give people the benefit of the doubt too much, that I need to be more realistic sometimes. And maybe she's right. All I know is that I have deep love for these friends I have just mentioned. I love them to my core and ever since I met them, I imagined them being in my wedding and playing with my kids and always being an integral part of my life. And it brings tears to my eyes (literally) to think that that may not be the case.

One of my greatest traits is that I'm fiercely loyal. Once you have me, you have me forever. I would do anything for the people I love and am willing to make great sacrifices in the name of love and friendship. I'm very cautious about who I let in and who I choose to enter into deep relationship with. There actually aren't too many people who know the authentic me. But when I love, I love big. And my problem is, I expect big love in return. I expect sacrifice in return. I expect to get back what I give. I want love and loyalty.

And as I am writing all of this, I know deep down that these relationships need to end and need to be mourned. These women who I thought were my close intimate friends are not that anymore. They are merely drive-by friendships, and I was not made for that kind of relationship. So as I convince my head of this reality, I need to figure out how to convince my heart.

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