Friday, February 28, 2014

Friendship: Forever or For Today?

Glass Heart I made. Always reminds me
of the veins of friendship...
Friendship... We often take it for granted. Our good friends are there. We know where to find them. We feel confident they'll understand our absences from their lives. We ignore them because we get too busy... have too much going on... feel too stressed out... are too tired... have family stuff... have work stuff... and on and on and on.

The day comes when we realize we haven't talked to this friend or that friend for weeks, then months, then years... okay, maybe we don't often let it go to years, but sometimes we do.

We excuse our lack of effort by checking what they're posting on social media or perhaps asking someone else how they're doing.

When we get back in touch, we pull out the too busy excuse knowing full well our friends know we've made time for other friends, just not the friend before us. Perhaps the friend smiles and says all is forgiven - maybe even offers a lame brushoff about having been busy as well. We have a stilted conversation about nothing and go on our way thinking all is well. Later we're disturbed by the lack of connection we felt by the interaction and maybe we begin to realize the friend seemed reluctant to share much or fully engage.

It's only then we realize the friendship is damaged. Perhaps we remember back to the friend reaching out to us in a time of need and us not acting much like a friend. We wonder how that issue turned out and shrug it off telling ourselves it must have worked out fine because our friend is still around and didn't bring it up again. So we tell ourselves it'll just take some time to get our friendship back on track, and we go about our business of being too busy for those we claim are our friends...

When we don't actively participate in a friendship, we lose the friendship just like any other relationship. I think of those days when we used to say "forever friends" with a smile and conviction. We were dedicated to holding our friends close and thought it would always be easy... After all, that's what friends are for... right? Someone to count on when times are back and someone to celebrate when times are great and someone to just be when times are just times...

I know I've been guilty of this, so I try to give people a chance and then another and then another and then... 

But at some point, we have to realize friends who aren't actively engaged in being friends are merely acquaintances. Having thought about this recently, my friends list got a whole lot smaller, but I sure do have a bunch of close beloved acquaintances.

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