The passing of my friend Tashia made me email someone I haven’t spoken to in over a year. I told her I’d like to try to mend our friendship. Life is short. She said she felt the same. The early death of a friend can have that effect on you.
A few months ago, a friend that I had declared an all-out enemy reached out to me (for the second time) to say our friendship had changed her, showed her some things about herself. It took losing a friend to learn how to be a better friend. She was excelling in all of her friendships now. Her new friends were so grateful to have her in their corner. And, she’d like the chance to be that kind of friend to me. We don’t hold things in anymore. She suggested that we be honest with one another at all costs. Have the hard conversations now instead of the built-up resentment later. We’re re-building our friendship and I’m so thankful.
A few years back, I reached out to some co-workers. At one time, we were good friends. By the time I left, we weren’t speaking. I wasn’t sure what I did, but I didn’t like the bad blood between us. I messaged each of them apologizing for anything I might have said or done. They appreciated that and said everything between us was good. You don’t realize the weight you’re carrying until you take it off your shoulders and walk away.
Earlier this year I decided to forgive my mom. Not for all the things she did, but for all the expectations I had. The many ways I compared her to “other” moms, judged her for not being everything I could ever imagine, and treated her as if she wasn’t good enough, didn’t deserve respect, or was incapable of receiving love just the way she was. And, then I forgave myself. Now that I view her in a different light, it’s hard for me to see her shortcomings. That’s the power of love and forgiveness.
Sometimes our girlfriends are broken. And, sometimes we think we can save them. We usually end up feeling used, bitter, and full of regret. Would you like some advice? Try loving them where they are. Don’t let your expectations exceed their capabilities. I have a friend who suffers from depression. Sometimes we were cool. Other times, I wouldn’t hear from her for months. She’d ignore my calls. I became fed up. Then, I realized that it wasn’t her ignoring my calls that made me so angry. It was my expectations of her that frustrated me to the max. When I gave her permission and freedom to be herself, our friendship blossomed. If I called someone a “best friend”, it’d be her.
I have 4 sisters (2 from my mom and twin girls from my dad). We’d probably strangle each other if we had to be in the same room for more than 72 hours. We’re all so different. And, arguments…too many to count. But, we always work it out. They’re the girlfriends God handpicked for me. Nothing is worth that relationship. Nothing.
At work today, I noticed the two pharmacists were chatting it up like best friends. Being me, I asked. How long have you two been working together? (They giggle.) Since 1993. We got pregnant at the same time. Our daughters are roommates in college. Our sons are nine months apart. We’re more than friends. We’re sisters. They’re the reason for this post. 1993…that’s 20 years. 20 years is a long time. These days people fall out over the smallest squabble or disagreement. I imagine they had lots of those in 20 years. Yet, there they were, excited that this Saturday they were scheduled to work together. For 9 hours, they nudged each other, whispering and giggling like school girls. Made me smile. Made me think of my girlfriends…
I always say that I don’t have any friends. Today I realized that’s not true. I don’t have any perfect friends. There aren’t any carbon-copy Brandi’s walking around, women who think exactly like me, have the same goals as me, and travel the same path as me. Haven’t found any of those. Some years ago, I think I would have paid for a “friend like me.” I think I’ve realized that girlfriends aren’t clones. They’re imperfect women whose conversation, laughter, jokes, prayers, warm hugs, support, and encouragement make perfect and unforgettable moments.
Life is short.
Tomorrow isn’t promised.
So, today I have a dare for you.
Today I dare you to be honest and brave. Wimpery says, “If I email, they might reject me or delete it or never respond.” Bravery says, “They might hang up in my face, but I’m going to call anyway.” It’s not about them…it’s about you. It’s about you saying what you need to say. It’s about you being honest with yourself. It’s about you being able to sleep at night knowing you did your best. And, your best is always good enough! The anger, grudge, unforgiveness, hate, jealousy, and the unknown of “what if” doesn’t need to ride on your shoulders any longer. It may not happen overnight. Often times, it’s a process. (I’ve been “forgiving” my parents for 20 years.) The “I’m a victim,” story you’ve been telling yourself may not be easy to forget and re-write. Remembering the fall-out will likely hurt. But, this is a good pain. This pain will bring peace.
Where there is anger, there’s always pain underneath.
Relationships do not cause pain and unhappiness. They bring out the pain and unhappiness that is already in you.
So, what’s the value of a good girlfriend? Is she worth more than a grudge? Is she worth more than pride? Is she worth more than being “right”? Is she worth forgiveness? Is she worth honesty? Is she worth more than your stubbornness?
I’ll tell you the value of a good girlfriend.
Your friendship is worth you learning how to deal with conflict instead of hanging up the phone. Your friendship is worth you learning how to communicate instead of cursing, being nice-nasty, or shutting down. Your friendship is worth you learning how to love imperfect people who may not always do things your way. Your friendship is worth understanding. It’s worth forgiving and forgetting. It’s worth more than you know.
My friend Tashia ran off the road, hit a tree and a utility pole. She died a half-hour later at the hospital. I keep wondering what song she was listening to. Random, I know. The last time we spoke was in January. Doesn’t seem that long ago, but it was. I wish I could call her…one more time. I’d love for a Facebook chat window to pop up, “Hey love….Hope all is well. :)”. But, she’s not here to chat anymore. Her soul is resting…and definitely not thinking about Facebook! It’s okay. Our heavenly chats will be much sweeter!
Before you contact your girlfriend, I’ve gathered some helpful resources just for you!
Some must-see videos on friendship, forgiveness & love:
Some articles that will help you mend your friendship with your girlfriend:
Lastly, I found some pics of me and my girlfriends that I’d like to share with you! Enjoy!
Keep resting, angel.
The beautiful Tashia General, still motivating me to be the best person I can be! : )
Bahamas Cruise 2012
From bikes to training bras to dentures! Friends forever.
Cousins, but more like sisters!
Shopping & Mid-day Mimosas in NYC!
Girlfriends help you up when you make a fool of yourself on the dance floor! : )
They came all the way for my birthday! : )
That’s my big sister in the tan.
Cousins are hand-picked girlfriends from God!
My Bible Study group on Guam. Our connection was definitely predestined!
Read about it here!
I’d never found true friends on the job.
Never say never.
Fellow Red Lobster servers whom I love dearly!
That’s my lil’ sister on the left.
One last Lobster party before we moved away…
My mom & lil’ sister drove up to visit me & the lil’ munchkin!
Sometimes your ride-or-die girlfriends are guys! ; )
The guy behind me (in black) is my husband.
The girl beside me (in purple) is irreplaceable.
The funniest girl I know!
Dining at Cheesecake Factory (Charlotte, NC) for my birthday!
Wedding planning fun!
Twin Sister #1
If you enjoyed this post, please comment, like & share!
Always With Love,