If relationships are tender plants, I have been an elephant stomping through my garden.
This past month I have been reminded of how delicate friendships are. My mind is bursting with questions. The answers are not always obvious, but I am searching. During October my focus will be on relationships. In this quest, I will be writing posts about my findings.
Let me introduce you to some of my conundrums.
It began with a stab by a thornbush-relationship. (Tell me you have those too?) Then my doubts came into play. Could thorns be lurking behind every friendship? I reacted. I made myself tough and impenetrable (or at least as much as an elephant is.) The hope was that I could still have my friendships but not be hurt.
Unfortunately, the elephant thing did not work as planned. Sure, thick skin and stumpy feet protect from thistles and thorn bushes, but they also trample your favorite flowers. I could not protect myself and remain close to people. Still, I tried. In this whole process some of my most treasured relationships were damaged. The people closest to me, especially my family, suffered the most.
How have I hurt people? Will my relationships recover completely? Will I ever have more close relationships? How do I prevent myself from damaging them in the future?
I am now trying to fix the damage. Although some days it seems easier to swear off friendships altogether, I cannot. I need friends. Humans were created to have relationships and community. As much as some people are hurtful, there are others who are encouraging and supportive.
How can I be encouraging? Am I being supportive? Again, what do I do about hurtful people???
Questions, questions, questions. Already I have a few light bulb moments that I cannot wait to share. While I keep searching, I will pass along what I find to you, listening people. My main focuses are being hurt and reactions, family relationships, and the good of friendships.
This post will be updated throughout the month with links to new posts in the series. You can also access all the current posts in this series by finding the “Friendship Series” category on the sidebar. Keep up to date with Life Observed blog by clicking the “follow” button. You can enter your email to get new posts sent straight to your inbox.