Learning the Art of Friendship

“Life sucks sometimes.”

That’s all I could say when a friend shared something really difficult she was going through. There isn’t a special guide book leading us to the right answer for the toughest questions.

She felt judged. She felt alone, and most of all, she felt guilty. For the way, she was feeling, for choices made, for the way people looked at and treated her.

I wanted to protect her. Her tears make me sad and mad. Mad at him, mad at them, mad at people who couldn’t care less. I want to cover up her pain and stop her from feeling hurt but I can’t. Because….life just sucks sometimes.

We look for hidden meanings, truths, try to explain and reason with the “why” and “what if’s” but, what if we never find out? There are consequences to actions and reactions to choices.

Here’s the deal. No one knows the truth except for the people going through “it.” Sure, we all judge and let’s be real, we make assumptions BUT leave those thoughts in your own head. Unless you are willing to confront and comfort then it really isn’t any of your business.

Death happens, divorce happens, sickness happens, bad choices happen. Regardless of whose fault it is, it isn’t your job to rub their faces in the mess. As a friend- as a human being- we should be standing with, kneeling by or just doing nothing if that’s where they are at.

My heart is often rude, judgmental, and calloused. I find myself gossiping when I should be listening. Then, listening when I should be defending. Human, yes, but that shouldn’t be an excuse.

I want to be a better friend. I want to be better and much more than the accepted standard. I challenge you to do the same. It can be inconvenient, emotionally and mentally exhausting, and honestly, there isn’t much in it for you. That’s what love is though. Giving of self, sacrificing with one another and standing by someone during their worst.

Maybe we need to re-learn what it means to be a true friend. I know I can use more of them right now. I know that a lot of us can. The kind that accepts my ugly cry and breathless rants. The kind who call me out on my lies and don’t settle when I say, “I’m fine.” Let’s dig deep and plant roots with one another. Let’s be more than acquaintances.

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