Few women admit this, but I believe the unacknowledged, undealt-with pain of friendship forces our generation onto an untethered overhang of isolation, threatening our ability to live whole, purposeful lives.
So I’m throwing my confession out to you today: I think friendship hurts.
As women, we don’t deal the pain which festers when another woman hurts us. Instead, we stuff it into the side pocket of our purse next to the worn-down, half-melted tube of lipstick.
But it turns up again and again.
Each time we reach in to find spare change or a pen or a mirror, we find smudges of unhealed friendship wounds all over our fingers–smudges we need to learn to wash away so we can grasp the hand of another, clean and free.
Because as much as friendship hurts, friendship is the one thing we cannot–should not–do without.
Friendship wounds come from many places. Mine stem from deep-seated shame and distrust, remnants of childhood abuse, betrayal by close females who knew about and subjected me to the abuse, and many friendship failures.
Over the years, I tried to make friends and be a friend, like a toddler trying to thread pony beads on a string. Every time I added a new bead, one fell off the bottom. Or I tried to push my thread through a misshapen bead missing a hole. Or I couldn’t find the color I was looking for. Or a bead with sharp edges cut me and made me bleed.
So, at times, opening my heart to others feels wrong and near-catastrophic. Yet I press on, because the One person who’s never betrayed me tells me friendship is good. Friendship is needed. Friendship helps us live out our purpose.
What about you?
Have you been wounded in a way that makes friendship scary, even painful?
How have you learned to forgive old friendship wounds?
How do you rekindle a heart for friendship–either by being a friend, or allowing others to befriend you?