Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

going deep on the surface

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I wanted to delve into this idea a little further, today.  This idea of friends and friendships... when nothing is fake about them. or, when everything is.

Do you know what it's like to be a real, true friend? 

I honestly struggle with this. Being one is a real challenge for me.  So, this isn't that post about how to be the "all-in-all" good friend....simply because I'm still finding it hard to figure out.  I'm sure I'll not be the only one, out there, who deals with this.

The only way to have friends is to be one. (Proverbs 18:24)

Basically, I'm saying I feel "fake". On the surface.  I feel like most of my friendships (not all!) are fake.   I hate that.  I don't want it to be that way at all.

We all know what it's like to have that one friendship that seems right and "all together"...upfront.  But when things go awry, or indifferent - which they do and will from time to time - we feel like we've literally lost our best friend.  Bam! It's over.  I knowI've had a couple of these.  And, I hope I'm not (always) the one to blame...but it is probably more about me then I realize. 

Anyway, when this happens...

It completely throws one for a loop and you vow to yourself you'll never trust again.  You'll never let those walls of vulnerability down again...in fact, you vow to only build those thick walls up higher and higher, more deeper and stronger.

Our relationships...with others, though...is sort of like this picture of the bird's nest tucked inside the cage.  It's a meant to be comfortable.  Clearly visible and or transparent.  Available. To be reachable.  Touchable.  Approachable.  Safe.  Strong.  Protected.

Again. Open and vulnerable.  They are fragile and  {relationships} take time.  Hard work.  Commitment.  

Do you agree?

Ugh!  That can be so scary.  It is scary.

For me, even if and when I actually do click with someone...it's still hard for me (personally) to maintain that friendship.  Many times I feel as though I'll end up doing all the grunt work.  And, so why bother?  ((But maybe that's where it all begins...))  I find myself "checkin' out".  Dodging the connection but longing for it, at the same time, as I walk away.

Sometimes it is simply easier to smile, be "fake" and "pretend" that all is well, even when it isn't.  Other times - relationships will stay on the surface because we're simply afraid.  Afraid to go deeper. 

NOT GOOD!

Trust me, it's very hard to maintain that facade.  It's always better to be real and humbly admit the struggle to the relationship.  Working at it rather then letting it get pushed under the rug.  (Can you tell I'm trying...to get it out, to voice it and to work on this for myself?)

So... I've been thinking about this and praying about these so called friendships and relationships in my life...the ones that I'm currently rubbing elbows with (in real life)... I've been thinking about this, a lot!!! 

And if you're currently one I "rub elbows with" on a regular basis. in real life. There is NO one thing that I'm specifically referring to.  True is that.  I'm just saying... on my end...it's me who wants a deeper friendship and I'm not sure how to have that happen.  I hope I'm making sense here.  I also hope, due to this admission, that I haven't lost every last friend I thought I ever had... just for my being so honest.

Is it me?  Is it them?  Is it a season? Insecurity?  That time of month?  What can I do to counteract this?  Should I be so concerned?  Why do I care?  What would Jesus do?  What does he say to do? 

How can I be a better friend?  Regardless...of how I think a relationship is going I still need to love- with my sleeves rolled up.  Be real.  And not be ... so fake on-the-surface, all of the time.

***
Can anyone else relate to this?  Or, have I just opened up a can of worms?

Edited to Update:  Since having this post in the Que (as a draft) for the longest time... (I've been so nervous to hit Publish.) I recently came across this devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries that I wanted to share with you.  It says it far better then I ever could, and I thought it was so fitting to link to this post for your reading benefit.  Read HERE , if you care too.  It will be so worth your time.  Please!  It's a better said - echo! 

It's what gave me the courage to hit - publish!

11 comments:

  1. I think you are so correct! Friendship does take work, and it takes effort. I was deeply wounded by a friend who once said that she really only liked friendships that didn't require too much effort. As if to suggest that the good ones are the ones that don't take effort. It hurt me because I had poured a LOT into her as a friend. But this brought me to an awareness of another problem. I wanted her to be a friend to me like I was to her, and that doesn't always happen. Some people are friend people, and some are buddy people. There is a big difference there. I'm the type of person that wants everyone to be my buddy. To share all, tell all, and hold nothing back. I'm a pretty open, and honest individual and that has caused me to be burned MANY times by women who did not intend too, but were "friend" people and not the buddy type. And what I'm learning as that people find ME to be a bit... smothering? Not sure if that's the right word, but it's how I've perceived it. I think everyone should be my BFF and that's just not how some people are. In turn, I've given my opinion too much, shared too much, and been a bit TOO MUCH. It hurts, to be on either side I think. The bottom line is that you have to love and be friends to people like THEY need it, not how you need it. Just like being married, I have to love my husband how HE needs to be loved, not how I WANT to love him. Friends are very much the same.
    Regardless, I have to disagree very much with the friend who hurt me. Relationships of ANY sort require effort and work, it's the way God designed them to be. When we are not thinking about ourselves, and truly concerned for the state of our friends, we will have their interests in mind, and not just ours.

    Great post!!!

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  2. This couldn't have come at a better time. I am having a problem with a person I thought was my friend. It turns out that she bad-mouthed me to others, and was cruel to me to my face. She told my husband that she "forgave me for being nasty" when I did nothing wrong. I have been trying to decide whether to try to mend the relationship or to walk away. A difficult decision. But in all things I try to do what I think God would want me to do. At this point I don't know how this will all play out, but I am going to re-read your post and the link. Thank you so much, Bevy, for being open to God's leading in your life.

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  3. I know we have talked about this. I think you and I aren't the only two women in the world who deals with this "problem." I find that in all of my relationships (male and female, familial) I fear being hurt. But there's more to it than that, I can't quite put my finger on it. I guess I feel that I'm not interesting enough or pretty enough, or too fat, not funny enough and...the list goes on. I think that there is somebody out there better suited than me to be that friend. It's sad how fake we can be for the sake of ourselves. But, I tell you it's hard to put yourself out there. I think you did open a can of worms. But it's good. It gets us thinking. Maybe it's time to get out of the comfort zone. Ya know?

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  4. Okay, moments after reading/commenting on your post, I read a post at another blog. Thought it was cute and sort of fitting. It made me chuckle.
    Hope you enjoy.
    http://theletteredcottage.net/iphone-pics-pinterest-prose/

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  5. Thanks so much for sharing this today! Been here many times my friend, and still struggle at times now with varying friendships and levels of the friendship. Thanks for "opening" up the discussion...I'm sure it is helpful to many more than you'll ever know. May God bless your vulnerability and humble heart for speaking about what affects most of us women, but we are too afraid to share!

    Laura

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  6. No, you are not the only one. I think it depends on one's personality too. Some people have an easier time than others at making such a connection. I have a few real close friends that I cherish deeply and like Leanna said they are my buddies, but then I also have several "friend" friends, the kind you always say hi to at church, the kind that you are interested in how they are, but that you are not interested in going out to lunch with them.

    My mom has always said to me... To have a friend, be a friend.

    It takes work. A lot of give and not so much take.

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  7. Bevy, this IS a great post! Just talking to you over the internet, you seem like such a sweet person! I can't imagine you having any trouble with friends, but Carissa and Leanna are right. I think people crave different kinds of friendships and you have to be able to read into that. I feel like right now, in this busy season of life, I have a few cherished friends and we are OK not seeing or talking to each other every week. BUT, when we need one another...we are there to call, take a meal, or babysit.

    Carissa hit it on the spot: friendship is a lot more giving than taking. I also pray for my friends...that I can be the kind of person that they need in their life:).

    I love that you have such an open heart, Bevy:).

    ~Julia

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  8. Wow, Beverly... Wonderful.. I just got your Blog info from your e-mail. So glad I checked in today. This encouraged me.. I have one friend I just called and will check in with tomorrow. Another dealing with some health/emotional issues.. and I can't even call only write.. it hurts.. it's not me.. her other friends can't get a response either.. waiting is hard.. Another one, the most difficult right now, is hurting me by continuing to bring up children issues.. when I ask her to stop.. and she doesn't listen. Yet, she lost a child too.. She acts like she's over it.. You are never OVER a loss in your life.. Anyone in our lives is still a part of our lives.. no matter how long they've been a part of our lives.. missing our 3 children, is the toughest for me.. Tomorrow 4/20 is the annual family day.. weekend, we do a garden and remember together.. Thanks for sharing and listening.. I put your blog under favorites I read. hope I will remember to read more often. Thanks cousin and friend. :-)
    Chris

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  9. Thanks Bevy! I struggle with this every. single. day! I fear rejection so I don't always put the effort in I should. I take things too personally too many times. More and more I'm realizing God designed us to need each other and friendships are so important. Thanks for a great post!

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  10. well if this isn't funny or what. I quickly posted this morning. ran some errands and just got back...come here and read this.
    can we be any more on the same page or what!!!

    so It's clear then how I feel about this.

    Im complete.
    utterly.
    wholly in a season of my life where I'm longing for something more then fake and superficial too!

    ReplyDelete

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