I remember doing some inner child work through a book last year and it was suggested to read or watch the movie “Anne of Green Gables”. I loved this movie, I cried, I laughed, I watched it again and read the book after. But, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the friendship between Anne and Diane, it just didn’t make sense. What the heck is a bosom friend and is all that even healthy? I remember watching movies and every time i’d anticipate girl friends would become girlfriends, I would hope they would because in my mind closeness and intimacy led to sex. So when I watched Anne of Green Gables, after leaving that way of thinking behind, I started to think is this for real? Can women really be close and all there is, is pure closeness? What kinda surreal living is this?! It’s the same with David and Jonathon in the bible, at times because our mind has been distorted for several reasons we assume they must be gay because apparently only guys who are gay can say the things they did to each other, men can’t be loving and gentle especially to another guy and if they do they’re not a man. UGH! Our poor world is so messed up and harsh its insane. But for me, because I struggle with same sex attraction, I have a hard time seeing true friendships with women as pure. My mind says something is wrong when we get close and start sharing our hearts, when we say I love you/I miss you, in my mind it means something else. I trust the other person, but I don’t trust my thoughts/feelings – I second guess them every time , which is good sometimes but another time it keeps me paralyzed in fear because I’m afraid if I share what’s on my heart it somehow means I’m attracted to her when it just means I like you my friend and I like that you’re my friend here’s how. Im afraid of what it means if I say it and also how they will perceive it, will they somehow think there’s an attraction, am I unsafe and should I be pushed away and left behind? This is what i’m currently working through and fortunately I can work through it with safe friends but at times my fears of being pushed away gets the better of me. I have safe friends but my fears of being abandoned or left behind or getting hurt distorts my view and I can see these friendships going over a cliff of unhealthiness. What makes up a true healthy friendship? A safe friendship? I recently realized that its about give and take, one person shouldn’t always be giving/taking. Give and take with honesty, vulnerability, authenticity, empathy, forgiveness, humility, self-control, love & courage. I almost didn’t include a few of them, especially the last 3, maybe because i’m not used to them being in my friendships or I just don’t think they’re important to make a friendship healthy. When I think about it, how can a friendship function in a healthy way if there’s no self-control, love, empathy or courage in the midst? Each person needs to showcase these characteristics and if its not there, then proof they’re actively growing towards these qualities makes up a healthy and safe friendship. For so long friendships for me were all about give give give or take take take, never you scratch my back i’ll scratch yours. I think that’s what scares me and seems strange to me, because doing it the right way is new and I’m sitting thinking what the heck is this?! If someone shares their dreams and fears with me, then it’s okay for me to do the same if I see them in a safe light that is, not everyone is safe for me to share certain things with and that’s okay. Speaking of that, discernment is needed and should be practiced because I could be out there sharing my heart with every Tom Mary and Alice only to have my fears of being hurt come true. God has a vision for me that i’m seeing and taking to heart this year, to have true healthy friendships. Im in the beginning stages I think, of enjoying these friendships instead of always fighting through them, sometimes I flip flop from enjoying to fighting but I keep getting back up on that horse. I fight to enjoy these friendships because I now have friends who have qualities I need in a safe and healthy relationship: honesty, vulnerability, authenticity, empathy, forgiveness, humility, self-control, love & courage. I guess that’s what’s in a friend, a safe friend.
“The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships…” – Abraham Lincoln