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Monday, August 2, 2010

Friendship

The concept of friendship has been on my mind a lot lately, and I have been trying to formulate thoughts about it that would make a decent blog.  But what is there to say?  I love my friends, and I try to be as good of a friend to them as they are to me. 

But today, after a long talk with one of my very best friends ever, I understand a little bit more about what friendship is.  I was frustrated and confused about how to handle something personal that I’m dealing with, and my friend was there to listen.  I could whine, cry, grumble, complain, pout, sniffle, and kvetch about my problems, and she just listened, and understood.  My frustration was important to her because she cares about me.  And just by having someone who loves me enough to listen to me vent my frustrations, I felt better about my ability to deal with them. 

That’s what friendship really is.  It’s being there for each other in the happy times and in the sorrowful times.  It’s supporting each other though frustration, grief, depression, confusion, and any difficulty that may arise in life with advice, compassion, laughter, silence, or whatever is most needful at the moment.  It’s understanding, empathy, and patience.  It’s a feeling of safety in knowing that what you need to whine about will be met with a listening ear and not considered insignificant or simply brushed off with a short command to “get over it.”  It’s something I never had in my marriage, and something I have long envied in the marriage relationships of others around me.  It’s the gateway that leads to love. 

In order to have a true friend, you also need to be one.  Friendship is about give and take, because we all have times when we need to receive more than we are able to give, and true friends are the ones who don’t give up on you during those times when you feel like you are nothing more than a sieve into which others pour love and compassion with little in return for themselves.  I have been exceptionally blessed in my life by wonderful friends who have helped me through some very dark and difficult times, and I hope I can extend the same to them when they need it. 

I could spend hours finding and posting hundreds of quotes on friendship, but right now, this is the one that most closely expresses my heart about what a friend is: 

"Two may talk together under the same roof for many years, yet never really meet; and two others at first speech are old friends."  Mary Catherwood

4 comments:

Nathalie said...

This is BEAUTIFUL, Anne Marie. I have goose bumps on my skin and a tear in my eye.

used2chaos said...

Goosebumps and tears are what I have, too. That was beautiful, Anne Marie.

I feel so lucky that we have found each other! We are so blessed to have bonded so deeply across the miles and formed this beautiful friendship.

I love you. ♥

Kim V. said...

You are a wonderful friend. You have really captured and put into words some of my own thoughts about friendship in your piece today. It is wonderful, as are you.

Erica said...

I miss you, my friend. Even when we don't talk, I'm always thinking of you.