We need friends. Most, if not all, want friends. And though I may have qualified for being anti-social in my earlier years, I’ve had my fill of really good bestfriends in every chapter of school life- gradeschool, highschool, college. I do hope they feel the same way.
Ever since I must say, I matured in the faith, I have trusted more people than usual. I have been more vocal and expressive of what I think, believing I will be understood. In fact I think I have assumed closeness to an inappropriate degree— one that approximates family. And many times there lies the problem.
Family for me is where you can show your worst behavior without fear of being abandoned. That was my experience as a child. But bringing friendship and social relationships to that level is improper, to say the least. I think I overdid this concept of friendship with two or three friends in the past years. Unabashedly speaking my mind, imagining closeness that is hardly affected by pride, showing (super)sensitivity and demanding empathy inappropriately have caused me dearly.
I’ve hurt friends who are also my colleagues. I questioned authority thinking our friendship makes us equals on all fronts. I have spoken unfiltered words as if speaking to my mom who right away forgives and forgets (after the scolding and maybe the spanking of course). I assumed closeness that I alone can feel. I assumed I…alone…can feel.
So they are the friends in my mind who never were. The ones I thought will make me feel better all the time and treat me like “royalty.” Friends who will always be ready to forgive my wrongdoings no matter how deeply I hurt them whether I ask forgiveness or not. Those who will take my criticisms positively no matter how harshly I have said them, though unintentionally. These friends will see challenges in our relationship and will continue to stay and never give up on me no matter how repeatedly I push them back. What a crazy idea! Have I never said words of exhaustion and felt peace when they are not around?
I realized, how can I expect my friends to give me more than I can to them. What makes me more special than them. How can I assume they need me any less? I guess I was the friend who never was…
But maybe the friend I can be. So help me (God? Ninang…) my dear friend.
– Ninang friendly thoughts
“A man of many companions may come to ruin,but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”” (John 13:34-35)
“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15)