I’ve written quite a bit on friendship this past year. It’s been an intentional goal of mine: to learn to be real and true, and to break apart the walls of perfectionism and the desire to keep masks covering the fact of my messiness. I’ve had lots of time to practice these things, to be uncomfortable, to ask for forgiveness, to share and put myself in vulnerable positions.
As I sat with a wonderful friend late at night on a recent trip, our children sleeping peacefully in beds upstairs and down, I unwrapped some ugly things I had been dealing with and gave them to her. I did not hesitate. She showed grace and care and tenderness as she listened and encouraged.
After I went to bed, I wondered if I should have said so much. If I was too negative, too transparent, too ugly. The “me” who likes people to think I have it all together surfaced and chided with a wagging finger.
The next morning, kids running all over the house, making noise and messes, my friend began sharing some difficult things in her life. I listened and tried to be as careful with her sharing as she was with mine.
And then she said, “Wow, nothing like being a downer!” I encouraged, told her of course she’s not, that’s what our friendship is for, and that I had wondered myself if I was too negative the night before.
I’ve pondered those conversations since that morning and I came to realize something I knew in my heart to be very important.
Maybe a barometer of our friendships, of their authenticity and depth, is how often we feel uncomfortable with our level of sharing. Maybe we’re missing out if we never have the need to wonder, or even ask, if we’ve said too much.
Maybe real friendship does make us uncomfortable, and maybe that is a very good thing.
What about you? How often do you share at a level that makes you squirm, just a little?
Photo credit: Fountain_Head