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Friends and Friendships – What’s The Difference?

This particular topic is mostly to help me through losing “friends”. I have been blessed with some beautiful friendship; a few that spans over two or three decades. I take my roles in friendships seriously. I try to make myself always available and open to whatever they need. But recently, in the last two years, I’ve found myself having to let go of some of my dearest friendships.

I’m trying to write this without going into specifics, but it’s hard. A friend should be someone you can go to and vice versa. But a friendship runs a little deeper meaning this involves loving each other and making sacrifices, even. Friendships are never to be taken for granted. It makes me wonder if this Steve Harvey quote is true, “You can live without family but you can’t live without a friend”.

I feel like most of my friends have either turned completely away from me or partially away, but I don’t exactly know why.

I assume it’s me. Who knows? My existence doesn’t hinge on us being friends but I can’t help feeling lonely at times. People have lives and get busy, I know, so that isn’t why I feel this way. I do think that sometimes I have been willing to participate in a friendship that no longer exists. That’s a hard pill to swallow.

You know, I have never just stopped loving a friend, even if their actions cause the demise of our friendship. I find myself still caring and still hoping they are well. Perhaps my heart is way too big and I find it easier to love than to hate. It’s easier for me to be someone’s friend than their enemy. I try to never allow hate in my heart. But I’m human. Life gets hard and we tend to react instead of remembering you never know what someone else is going through.

I say to let your first response be kindness and go from there. Friends come and go and so do friendships. People simply outgrow one another. Don’t take it personally. Some people divorce after thirty-year marriages so don’t sweat it too long when friendships die. Don’t stay where you’re not wanted. This is simply God’s way of making space for new people in your life. Let it go and move on!

I have also had to learn to be happy by myself and to lean on my family. If you can’t be happy alone and get to know you, how can enjoy the company of anyone else? I know this is easier said than done because loneliness is not fun. So wrap your head around this idea: you can be friends without a friendship. Yep, you can! But being fake friends with someone is deplorable. Be real. Be you. Open yourself up to meeting new people and creating true friendships that will stand the test of time. You’ll thank me for it!

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Valerie Collins
Valerie Collinshttps://mypoeticlifebook.wordpress.com/
Valerie Collins was born in Tucson, Az, the last of six children. She has loved writing since a child but decided to pursue a career in Orthopedic nursing. Shortly after her marriage and birth of her first child at the age of 22, she was diagnosed with the chronic pain disease, Fibromyalgia, its subsequent conditions, illnesses, and syndromes. Once the disease disabled her in 2001, she revisited her passion for writing poetry and short stories and has accumulated over 100 poems and spoken word pieces over the years. She became a member of the International Society of poets in 2002 and The International Who's Who in Poetry in 2006. She currently is a member of Realistic Poetry International, Who's Who Among American Business Women, and Women of Facebook Create. Her accolades include 2005 Poet of the Year. She was awarded both the Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry and the Official Commemorative Poetry Ambassador Medal while serving as a Poetry Ambassador associate in 2007. She wrote a play entitled “Fix Me Jesus” in 2012 for Alabama 1st COGIC State AIM Youth Convention Competition drama category which was awarded second place. Currently, she is in rehearsals for her second stage play for the local playwright, Shawna D. Moore which will be on stage in August 2019. She is in the process of compiling a two-volume poetry book entitled My Poetic Life: A Memoir of Love and a book detailing her life with Fibromyalgia, entitled Behind the Walls of Silence. In July 2018, she created her first blog site My Poetic Life (The Book) as @vfurrmstheblogger to act as a launch for both books and it has taken on a life of its own. She also owns a small crochet business, Val's Gifts of Warmth, where she sells her handmade crochet items.

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8 CONVERSATIONS

  1. I am only seeing this article for the first time tonight. It’s hard to lose friends especially ones you have had for a long period of time. People change for one reason or another but that change may not be accepted by your friends although true friends accept you for who and what you are. I have a friend I have known since before my son was born but we no longer speak to each other. There was no argument or fight the parting of the ways just happened. It is a great idea to be open to meeting new people to develop new friendships. Sometimes it just does not feel right. Moving on is never easy nor should anybody ever dismissively tell you to do that. You are a keen observer of the human condition. Feeling lonely or alone is a terrible feeling. I hope you can either get your old friends back or make some really terrific new friends. Thank you for filling in some of the spaces that are left open.

    • Joel, your comments are always so comforting. I have been sick most of my life. I let it consume me until one day I realized I control my own happiness. I wanted to be happy. I started doing things that brought me joy. It made me feel better and alive. Some people friends, or not, don’t want to see you happy because they’re not happy. They cause misery just to bring you down. Well those friends, family are either removed from my life or dealt with from a distance. I don’t like bad energy around me, it bothers my spirit because I’m gonna want to fix it for that person knowing they don’t want help. I prayed about it and God brought the people I’m in these plays with into my life. I even found a cousin through this one that I’m doing Saturday. I lost some but I’m not running out trying to find friends. I like those God has placed in my life now through my writing, acting, healing, support, and out of love.

      • You have a terrific attitude. We throw ourselves into our friends or other activities and when things break down or friends go away we feel bitter and lost. It’s only now that I have gotten older and my diabetes worsened have all these other health issues taken over me. Friends are nowhere to be found right now. I chalk up to not doing all that I can do in terms of what G-d commands us to do. Your writing reaches people and touches people as I am sure you do as well. As they say in my book you are okay. Be well.

  2. The greatest gift God created for us is the gift of friendships. There is no greater Love than to lay ones life down for a friend. John 15:13. But what is the true definition of a friend is the question. This article was a tailgate to an Adult Forum not long ago on the topic “Friendships”. I beleive friends come and go, but consider them more aquaintences. I beleive friends come into your life for reasons sometimes we don’t understand. Finally, I beleive that friends are like the seasons and the one’s that linger for years are the ones given to us by God. (Strickly my opinion)
    Thank you!

    • I agree with you on this. I had to learn the hard way that it’s not the length of time but the bond that makes a friend. I was ‘friends’ with someone for decades and then suddenly we weren’t. I had to realize God removes seasonal people to make room for those who will always be there. So I agree completely.

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