Love is powerful. It’s the greatest thing that ever happened to mankind. If the demonstration of love by an immortal, holy and eternal God who incarnated/emptied himself into human form, dying in the place of human beings is something to go by, then love is powerful. As if this is not enough, the Savior Jesus Christ continues to woe us back to himself. There’s no better demonstration of love!
A desire to love and to be loved has been placed in every person’s heart. Sometimes we find the love and others we get what we didn’t expect- rejection. Hearts have been wounded and broken in this quest of love. Others have been disappointed and others hardened. To a great extent, our lives are a product of the love we experienced or the affection we were denied.
Love requires sacrifice. There’s so much of getting out of your way. Sometimes we love people who don’t love us, people who are not lovable and people who are nothing close to perfect. This can be frustrating, to say the least. Other times we’ve discovered that we weren’t loved by certain persons who we thought had genuine love for us. It’s painful to discover that someone doesn’t love you like you had assumed.
I have seen people get disappointed in friendships. You probably sacrificed your time, money and energy to someone who probably didn’t deserve it or who trampled on the love you showed. It feels bad! I remember a girlfriend I had who would always treat me very unfairly. I would always look for a her but this wasn’t reciprocated.Then when we went to social gatherings she would snob me for other friends. Like literally. I would feel very unwanted. A number of times I felt like I didn’t measure up. This got me in the confusion of trying to improve myself in order to get her attention. I persevered for one year. Eventually I left. No, I wasn’t being petty. It’s just that you can’t force someone to treasure you. Plus I happen to be the kind of people who are very loyal, but when the loyalty is betrayed I leave never to be seen again.
Recently I’ve been reflecting on love in friendships. My friends are a very important part of my life. I call them a spice to life. But how come it’s possible to feel very lonely yet with very many friends? Is it possible that there are friends who take us for a ride? Could be that we are giving too much of ourselves to people who don’t deserve it. What’s all these fuss about people losing trust in each other? Is it possible that some friends are only part of us for a season in life after which they are bound to leave? All these are questions I’ve asked myself. Not exactly because they are things that I have experienced, but majorly because I have observed certain trends. As usual, I don’t think I have the answers yet. But these are some very real issues that I’d want us to engage together.
It’s obviously true that not every person who comes to our lives will qualify for close friendship circles. That would be expecting too much on people. It’s also a fact that the love you show to the people in your life may never be reciprocated. You will be hurt by some friends. Some will say sorry while others will not even feel sorry. One of the issues with growing up is that people get busy. So they won’t be thinking about you all the time. Expecting them to be available at your every beck and call would be too much. Other friends have specialized in PR. Lip service. They will make you believe you have a place in their hearts while you are nowhere close. Once in a while a friend will betray you. Judas set a good example some thousands of years ago. You’ll lose touch with friends who had been close. Not because you wronged each other but just because life happened. All these are facts that we need to bear in mind.
So now, how do we go about friendships? I would want to think that the first is to be aware of all the facts above. So that we know what amount of expectation to place on who. But still we should remember that everyone’s human and humans are not perfect and humans can disappoint! It would also be important to check out on the things that make our friendships ail. May be talking about the issues or a little bit of adjusting ourselves and accepting correction would do. Vulnerability too. This, in my opinion, is actually the first. There’s no way a friendship is going to flourish without people being vulnerable. One of the things that pisses me off is getting to hear something very key about a very close friend from other parties. I think we should be deliberate on sharing our hearts. Of course depending on the level of closeness. However, I don’t see reason for hanging around a person who doesn’t want you around them in the name of working on a friendship!
It is worth noting that friendships require sacrifice. You’ll be required to stand with them in good and bad times, hang out with them even when you don’t feel like, give a listening ear may be a little bit too often, share in the major stages of their lives- victories and failures alike, look out for each other, intrude into each others spaces and loyalty. Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty.
This post would be incomplete if I didn’t mention that we should be veeeeery careful in opposite sex friendships. We are humans, again. Humans have flesh, blood and emotions. Emotions can manifest even in the most unlikely and unwanted scenarios. It could turn sour. Hearts can be broken. Friendships can end. You’d want to be careful that any of this doesn’t befall you. Draw boundary lines. Understand that there are just levels that you can’t get to with the opposite gender. Be alert. Like don’t allow your emotions precede your mind.
Having said that, enjoy your friendships!