2020 started out with a question for me, a question around friendship. I was taking stock of all my friendships and all my ‘friendships’. People who consider me a friend and people whom I consider a friend and where and when those two align.
Let’s be honest, we all have friends, wehave buddies, chommies, brasse, pellies, mates, kappeto’s, and the list goes on … all of them some version of a friend, an acquaintance, a friendly acquaintance, … that list also goes on. The point is that each person I allow in my life is closer or further away from me because of, well, different reasons.
What makes somebody your friend? And I mean the real friend. The friend who you can talk to, who knows you, where you can show you as much as you can. Nothing to hide. I don’t have many of those. Do you?
Who do you trust with your vulnerability?
Do you even trust yourself with that? I ask coz many people do not like themselves. I say that because I was one of them at some point in time in my life. I really did not like who I was because … well … yeah … vulnerability. We are taught it is a weakness. It’s not. It’s my strength.
And that’s a long conversation.
Over the past few days I have had conversations a few of my friends. Individuals. Private conversations. Varies in age. I am still amazed at how inadequate some of us are with being vulnerable even though we trust each other with private information. One of my conversations this morning was partially about this and also about honesty. How do I have a difficult conversation with a friend about something that they are going through? Or about something that I am going through? How do I know I can trust that person with my inside everythings? How do I challenge then to grow, move out of their comfort zone, build capacity without it being taken as an offence and vice versa?
What do you think? I’m still thinking.
What I do know is that my friends, the inner circle ones, they challenge me to grow, they’re not scared to ask for help or to have the crucial conversation, we know we’re in it for long run.
The quote below by Morgan Harper Nichols reminded me of where I would like to be moving towards in my friendships – becoming whole and helping my friends in that process too. I don’t need perfect friends, I want whole ones. My people with whom I can share my life in all its glory; the mountains, the valleys, the storms and the beauty of it. Friends who can stand by my, who say to my face what they say behind my back, never afraid to confront me respectfully and challenge me with integrity. People who know me, know my laugh, my voice and who could tell you if that’s the kind of thing I would say or not. A safe place and space where I can be free from judgement and not free from responsibility or accountability. People whom I can stand side by side with amidst a challenging time and also lock eyes with in search of truth.
People I love because I love them.