Sometimes I take my relationships with my girlfriends for granted. Not giving 100% of myself because work, stress or whatever else pulls me away, and can sometimes keep me away. It’s all busy work, it’s nothing pressing, no ones life is in my hands, I’m not running the country, I’m just a simple girl living on this earth trying to make it to next moment. Nourishing my friendships should a top priority because they are the family that I chose.
When I look at my life and the women whom influenced me in countless ways, I’m brought to tears. I would not be the women that I am today if each of my friends didn’t help to shape me by introducing me to new things, opening my eyes to new experiences and being a shoulder to cry on when things were going completely haywire. My Girls! Each one of them have these outstanding characteristics that drew me to them. From their athleticism, their knowledge, their drive, their ambition, their Faith and their testimonies, their style, their love of life and their confidence.
I don’t have a lot of close girlfriends but I have quality girlfriends. Friends that are not afraid to have ugly conversations, so we can grow together, friends that will call me on my bullshit and not sugarcoat it, friends that allow me to be me without apologizing or hiding it. Being an only child, I’ve come to know at an early age that friends are important. Although I knew this, I haven’t always been the best person that my friends needed me to be. To be completely honest and transparent, I’m spoiled…hey I’m an only child…what did you expect? Being spoiled means that I looked to be catered too and when that didn’t happen I rebelled. Being spoiled also meant that I was and sometimes, I’m still a little selfish. I’m not perfect nor do I claim to be, but what I’ve learned is that my friendships have gotten me through the toughest and most amazing points in my life. So, now after having relationships that have lasted for over 20, 15 and 10 years, I’ve learned some important lessons on maintaining your friendship that I would like to share.
- Be You, Unapologetically You. I’ve had friendships where I’ve been scare to reveal who I truly am because I feared being judged or losing a friend. As an only child, you never want to lose friends, but as I’ve increased in age, it’s become clear that true friends embrace who you are, where you are. There are no expectations of the person that you will someday be, true friends love you now, the broken parts and the not so pretty parts. That is what makes friendship so special, you can be you.
- Have the Ugly, Uncomfortable, Gut Wrenching Conversations. We all hate those conversations where you have to be transparent and vulnerable. You know those conversations where you lay it all out on the table, scared, fearful of losing it all, but you do it anyway. You say what’s on your mind and you listen, I mean really listen so that you can truly hear and understand your friend. Sometimes you will have to apologize and admit fault, sometimes it’s the other way around. It is these conversations that will take your relationship to an even deeper place that you never knew existed, until you arrived there.
- Stop Carrying the Past. We all can hold on to something that someone did to us years ago, but if someone brought it up today, you would be just as mad as if it had just happened. Did you know when ducks fight, they flap their wings at each other for a few seconds, float away and shake their wings and body to release the energy. They then go back to floating peacefully. We should take a lesson from the duck and shake off the past and embrace the present moment. Don’t carry the weight of judgement, anger, regret, jealously with you, all of this is too heavy of a burden to keep lifting and taking with you everywhere you go. Release the past, and experience the journey of now with the family you choose. Your friends.
- Love. Love is such an easy word to say and we often take this simple word, say it but there is no meaning behind it. When you choose your friends to take a life long journey with you, love has to be the key ingredient to help maintain the relationship. Love with meaning. Love every part of your friends. Although you may not like everything they do, love them because it is who they are and what they choose. Love hard, yes, there may be heart break but if we spend our entire life guarding our hearts from hurt, will we ever truly love? Pain is pleasures best friend and even though pain can suck, you wouldn’t know pleasure without. So love hard and enjoy the journey of life with your friends.
Friends have the amazing ability to lift you up when you’re down, to pray for you when you’re in need, to carry you through a storm, to make you laugh at yourself for the all foolishness, and to bring clarity to darkness. I’m so grateful for all of my girlfriends because I get to laugh everyday, even on the days that I cry, my girlfriends will alway find the right words to make it all seem alright.
So, today I honor the ladies that I call my friends. Thank you for being you, having the ugly conversations and for not allowing the past to hinder our growth together. I’m Honored and Humble to call you my friends.
How do you honor your friends when you know they deserve it?