I saw this roll through my facebook page the other day, and it reminded me of a post from quite some time ago. A good reminder about the relationships we invite into our lives and how to navigate through them. As an adult, I would like to think I’m beyond the superficial seeking of certain people to be my friends. It’s so “high school”, but in reality its still something that rolls through my adult life.
There may be a person, or a few, or a particular group that you desire to be friends with. I’m not even sure the WHY matters, but there is something about that person that draws you in. Maybe they have a great reputation in the church, or look super happy with their lives. It’s a group of women who are full of fun times and hysterical stories. Or, perhaps, it was the first person you met in your new town who was willing to give you a little attention. Women of influence often grab our gaze, and we want to be like them or even near them. It is almost like we are trying to touch the hem of her cashmere sweater and willing to pour our perfume on her feet. We try hard.
One of the things that have stood out to me over the years, that I will catch in myself and try to course correct, is that I forget to savor the friends I have in pursuit of the friends I want. That strange childhood desire to be known, liked, wanted, accepted by the “it girl” of whatever social circle I am apart of at that time. Inevitably, I will come to my senses and realize I am being silly. Yet it still sneaks up on me from time to time.
Other times, it is a bit different. It is when I forget to savor the loyal friendships I do have as I am chasing down someone who is leaving. The relationship may be ending on good terms. She may be moving, going back to work & limited on time, or it could be that our seasons have changed and we just can’t connect like we once did.
There are occasions where the relationship ends on bad terms. I have a hard time letting go of a friendship that I invested in over time and will fight to save it. I may compromise my own standards, make excuses for behavior, carry the blame for the sake of saving the relationship, etc. I may even neglect my friends who have stood by me as I attempt to save the one that is fleeting & fleeing.
I’ve even begun to recognize that I grieve over the loss of the relationship more than the actual person. I may have liked the idea of the person, or the role they filled in my life, more than I really liked the actual person.
Now, I have been putting some serious thought into the people I invite into my life. Creating a litmus, of sorts, to test out if this person is a good fit or not. I’m not done yet working out all of those details and points. It may be a life long development or refinement.
I’d love to hear about what types of standards, tests, or litmus you use in vetting your relationships!