Thursday, August 12, 2010
It has always been interesting to me how friendships start, grow, blossom, and recede based on where we are in our lives. When we are young and in school, we are at the same place in our lives as our friends and we have many commonalities that support close friendships. As we grow up and maybe go off to college, get married, have kids, move away, or get involved in the community, we find that friends make appearances in our lives, for just a moment, for a short time, or for a long while. It is hard to predict how long or for what reason a friendship will last. I have found over the years that despite my best efforts, I can never really guess what path a friendship will take.
I have heard that “friends come into your life for a reason, a season, or for life.” Sometimes, those friends you think are “life-long” friends turn out to be friends just for a “season”, or even just for a “reason”. And, sometimes, we are pleasantly surprised when a friend we thought might just be a friend for a “reason” or a “season” emerges as a friend for “life”. We always perceive our good friends to be constants in our lives; but, realistically, life often gets in the way, and our friendships ebb and flow, regardless of everyone’s best intentions. Sometimes, friendships start to fade away, or at least take more of a back seat than usual, and it can make us sad, or even mad, especially when there hasn’t been an abrupt falling out. I know that I can feel sort of lost when my friendships shift unpredictably.
At the same time, shifts in friendships can also sometimes become blessings in disguise. As we change and grow as we live our lives, sometimes we aren’t even aware that our needs are changing. Sometimes, without conscious awareness, we are making space for new and different friends to come into our lives. In the past, I have had friends who I have liked to go to the movies with, go out to the bars with, and other friends with whom I have had great heart-to-heart talks. One friend typically cannot fulfill all of these roles for me, so depending on where I have been in my life, different people have filled these roles for different reasons.
We have to trust and believe that when we feel ebbs and flows in our relationships and friendships, or in our own needs, hearts or bodies, that there is a shift occurring that frees us from whatever is holding us back now. It is a shift that helps with shedding the excess weight of holding on to a perception, a feeling, or a friendship, that may be slipping away. Even though it is the last possible thing I want to do at that moment, I need to be courageous (my favorite word!) and to be open to newness, to something “different”, to a surprising observation, to growing internally, to people traveling into or out of my life. Easier said than done, I know.
Posted by Lisa Fraley