Saturday, October 29, 2011

This Much I Know is True.

Friendship is not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything. - Muhammad Ali

There are some really spectacular people out there.  There really are.  I am so blessed to know a good deal of them.  My friends inspire me.  They may not know it but they make me a better person. I've learned so much from them.  I've become so much because they've pushed me forward.  Out of my comfort zone a good deal of the time.  They've broadened my perspective, they've shown me support and allowed me to do the same.  Through them I've had the chance to become a more rounded person.  A more feeling person.  I am uplifted.

I have a girlfriend who it seems no matter what lands on her plate she is completely unflappable.  She seems quite content to allow the forces of nature gently nudge her along.  She is smart and determined and a natural leader.  I love her passion for life, her love of her family and her savy.  She's a natural.  There is no artifice with her.  What you see is genuinely what you get.  From her I am learning to be patient and have faith.

I have another girlfriend who is a whirlwind.  When we first met, I'm not sure we liked each other much.  Then as time passed and I got to know her better, I was able to understand her better.  I fell into easy company with her.  Turns out we had an awful lot in common.  She's a strong woman.  I mean true grit kinda strong.  She's also just raw energy all the time.  She dedicates herself to her family in a way where I am just left in awe.  I often times feel like I've had too much coffee after being in her company but I like it.  She is honest with her opinions.  She has a way of just cutting through it and telling like it is.  She keeps me honest even when I don't want to be.  She pushes me to keep up with her.  She ups the ante.  She's a smart cookie, opinionated and brutally honest.  She doesn't seem to have any time for gentle ego stroking or white lies.  I like this, a lot more than I would have thought.  You  never need to guess where you stand with her.  She's teaching me to stand stronger and have more conviction.

I have another friend whom I just feel easy with.  I joked once that I wish she'd adopt me.  Though I don't want her to be my mom, I just want to be in her family.  She's been such a good friend.  There's this thing about her that is just so completely kick ass....She may start on a challenge that perhaps would not have been her first choice but once she is committed there is absolutely no holding this woman back from achieving her goals.  This woman has fought through injuries, self-doubt and frustration to get the job done.  I have never seen that kind of tenacity in a person before.  If it were me, I would have found a way to justify just stopping...this woman doesn't know the meaning of quit.  I hope I do not rub off on her that way.  She is teaching me to persevere without giving up what makes me who I am.

I should stop trying to describe all the fabulous women in my life.  This blog would get really, really long.  I'd also be afraid of leaving someone out.  Even the ones that have hurt me beyond anything I could have imagined, have made me a better person. Perhaps some might not like knowing that but while they were in my life, I loved them so much.  I still do.  I have tried to deal with the pain by wanting to think ill of them.  To banish them from my thoughts or memory.  I just can't bring myself to do it because that would mean I'd have to deny all the wonderful things that their friendship meant to me.  I just can't bring myself to cut free parts of my life that way.  

We call that person who has lost his father, an orphan; and a widower that man who has lost his wife. But that man who has known the immense unhappiness of losing a friend, by what name do we call him? Here every language is silent and holds its peace in impotence. - Joseph Roux

I also know that as I've been hurt by a friend or two, that I'm not innocent of doing the same to others.  I can fully admit that I haven't always been the best person I could be.  I'm not even close to being perfect.  I have reacted out of sadness and anger. I have placed faith in those who took that trust and twisted it into something ugly.  Resulting in hurting others.  There have been times when I should have known better but allowed myself to do things that I knew I couldn't be proud of.  I'm not sure how I will ever wipe clean the slate for that.  

I do not believe that friendships are disposable.  I also know that sometimes they just aren't forever.  That of course, people will pass through my life.  They will leave indelible impressions on me.  All of this shapes who I have become.   How I deal with the loss reflects upon how much that person was loved and how much they will be missed.  Even in my pain, despite missing them horribly I can't deny that they have brought out the best in me.  I honour them. 

Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them. - Francesco Guicciardini

When the time comes when my boys have their bonds and bumps.  I want to be able to model how to be a friend.  To teach them what that means.  The joys and comfort and speak honestly, as well, of the pain.  To show them that others often teach us more about ourselves then we could have imagined.  That it's ok to put yourself out there.  Never let the fear of being hurt keep you from experiencing it.

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