Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How do I define your love if you're not there when it hurts

This post is prompted by FG's post on being open and honest in relationships.

I've learnt a great deal over the last five years when it comes to friendships, but i think the most important lesson I've learnt is how to let people be themselves but still love them all the same.

I have a friend whom I love to bits...back in college, we did almost everything together. Then life happened and i began to feel like she turned into this selfish person....Life seemed to be all bout her all of a sudden and that hurt.

I felt like i was always there for her when she needed a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear, but each time I tried to talk with her about my issues, somehow, the discussion turned back to her.

Then i got married, and bitched about how her selfishness had made us drift apart, and how, if only she had been there for me in return we could have remained good friends, and how it was all her fault that we were not as close as we used to be.

Today, I'm different from that person I used to be, and I've realized that as much as we always want people to be there through our hard times, there are those people who, despite how much they love you, cannot deal with overwhelming issues.

Like those friends who cant call us when they realize they are pregnant and we've been trying for 5years, or who never talk about their children anymore because we had that miscarriage, or those friends who cant stay over at our house when we loose our spouse, or those ones who cant hold our hands through the night in the hospital after chemotherapy has taken its toll and we're loosing hair.......

But this doesn't make them bad people, neither does it mean they love us less...they simply cant handle it.

I used to be bitter, now I'm not, I used to be sad, now I'm not...because truth is, It might not be the people you expect, but there's always a trusting ear that would listen, and a caring heart that would be there through the rough patch...and even if there isn't, we have the strength within us to walk through that path and come out strong.

I think my friendships are healthier now, not because they changed, but because i allowed my friends to love me the best way they know to, even when my definition differs from theirs.

Some may argue this and say a real friend is the one who is there for you and who you can count on...but maybe, rather than talk about their children, they pray, maybe rather than stay over they handle the details for the burial, maybe rather than stay with us in the hospital, they watch the kids and buy a fabulous wig for us on our return home....bottom line is, I guess in their own way, they show us they love us still.....Like my friend....she still let me know she cared when i got the text that read

"Babes, i dont know how you do "it" and i cant be strong like you....you're one helluva woman"

We didn't talk about the "IT" but that text was her way of saying...even though i cant deal with it...I love you all the same...and I'm glad i learnt to love her...just the way she is.


  1. 1st! Hmm...so true...the way I see it is the least expectations that we have of others, the least disappointed we'll be. We're all mere humans, we're bound to "mess up" from time to time.

  2. i have a more cynical view of people though.. failing to make the effort to stay friends, to my mind, is tacitly declaring the friendship is not worth enough..

  3. I like BB's perspectives. When we set standards for people who are not God, then we set ourselves up for disappointments. But what do we do when we are disappointed by our friends? We need to get up and embrace them (easier said than done, but until we do this we will carry around unnecessary guilt).

    Great write-up.

  4. I guess I have mixed feelings on this. A friend should be one in all things and at all times but I guess as friends, we should also cut our friends some slack too. Hmm,..

  5. Heart-felt post... I'm with you - I think when we change the way we see others - this allows the friendship freedom to be what is is or is not. We all have friends - some closer than others. We all have many likes and dislikes...thus the need for more than a few friends!! We don't expect our spouses to meet ALL of our needs, do we? (actually I did, in the beginning :) - until God enlightened me that that wasn't His plan in marriage - His plan was relationship!) We need many relationships for differnt reasons. We are have many facets to our personality - not to mention our hobbies - our gifts and talents. We can't expect everything from everyone!

    When I was much younger - I had a falling out with my mother - (this was about relationships, right? well I had none to speak of with my mother) After not speaking to her for 7 months - God changed my heart. I wrote her a letter apologizing for my unfare expectations of her. I never felt loved by her. I shared what God had done for me and how He changed my heart and that I understood that she was loving me the best that she knew how. She wrote back to thank me. Our relationship changed after that - not that she changed - but that I stopped expecting cedrtain things from her...and in time, the relationship grew. When she died 20 years later.... I had finally begun the relationship I had always desired with her. She became more than I had ever hoped for in a mother. Only God could turn that around.

    There can be healing - when we let people be who they are. They are who they are for a reason - they do the things they do because at the time that's all they know or they think they are right.

    Our love and acceptance for them - just might bring healing not only to the relationship, but to the core of who they are and why they are the way they are...

    Good post! thanks for sharing your heart

    Patrina <")>><
    His watchman on the wall

  6. When we set standards for people who are not God, then we set ourselves up for disappointments.
    data entry work from home

  7. I also have mixed feelings on this.
    I believe if you love ,you show it with action, not intentions....or just thoughts. I have always believed and ( have seen in my friends) that friendships require sacrifice, one should be eager to leave comfort zones to be a 'good and true' friend

    but like you said, some people cannot handle issues, they would rather just stay away.

    But thanks for reminding me that people different ways they love.

  8. hmmmm...this has opened my mind to what friendship could mean in a different way.
    i'm passionate, when i love a friend, i go all the way to show how much i love u plus i am very loyal too. so i realised over the years that it hurts when i dont get back that kind of treatment. sometimes i confront these friends and their explanations show that they are not been selfish, thats just how they love i guess.
    my best friend back then, we drifted apart cos she got married and i believe basically bcos her husband for some reasons thot i was bad influence etc but i simply dismissed her cos i've got lots of other good friends....
    maybe thats just the way she is.
    good and thot provoking post

  9. I agree that just because people don't love us the way we want, it don't mean they don't love us at all.

    I make allowances for certain friends based on what I think they can handle but there are other friends from whom I will expect nothing less than their actually being there when I need them.

    Sometimes I wonder if I am even the kind of friend that my friend can actually count on.......food for thought.

  10. @ Blessing

    We're sure bound to mess up o, I know i do sometimes, even when not intended

    @ akaBagucci

    I guess my question is...efforts by whose standards?

    @ Jaycee

    Txs Jaycee....loved your last post (last one is bad one), how are you doing dear...

    @ Myne

    I just think we all have different capacities and expressions for love, and its up to us to decide if the other persons capacity is something we can live with...I dream about your short story...Arghhhhh...lol

    @ Patrina

    I think you totally summed it up even better than i tried to...that was quite insightful...
    especially "I think when we change the way we see others - this allows the friendship freedom to be what is is or is not"

    @ prashant

    True that...cant seem to access your profile or your blog

    @ Olufunke

    Ahhh...but the above examples loved by actions, not just the expected actions...plus...do ALL your friends exhibit the same level of sacrifice? Nah.., doesn't make the other ones that sacrifice less bad friends does it?...I think not

    @ omotee said...

    I'm also passionate about all my relationships...something we share in common...hehehe!!!, sucks sometimes I must say

    Must have hurt when you and your friend drifted apart...I sure hurt when i did..

    @ Enkay

    "there are other friends from whom I will expect nothing less than their actually being there when I need them".... Lol, i sure know what you mean

    You got me thinking with that question you know...I sure hope im that person my friends can always count on, even with my few blunders now and then

  11. I loved this post, so much! You are spot on in my opinion. We are all different and when we are able to see each other through God's eyes, it help us to appreciate those difference.

    I think what you spoke of in this post is looking at someones heart, opposed to just their behavior.

    I think the more we learn to rely on God to meet our every need, the less we feel the need to place those expectations on our friends and family. Allowing ourselves to simply love them.

    I read a great book awhile boack that you might really enjoy. It is called Authentic Relationships, by Wayne Jacobson. I believe their is a coauthor as well, another Jacobson, Clay maybe...Anyway, it was REALLY good!

    Thanks for trying to e-mail me :) I need to change the address on my blog. The best way is at sdaveda@gmail.com.

    Good to be back! I missed you!

  12. I so so so so love this post! In fact this post is too on point.
    I have come to realise that sometimes your friends will not meet your expectation but that doesn't mean they do not love you. We all have different love languages!

    I have learnt not to "over expect" from my friends. That's way I rarely get disappointed these days. My trust is in the Lord, He alone can be there for me completely.

    I am glad to hear you and your friends have sorted yourselves out.

  13. I kinda agree...friends should be there for us, but sometimes they can't be there the way we want them to be.
    The truth is that God is the only friend who stays with us always and totally gets us!

  14. Wow, Jhazmyn, you took the definition of love and friendship to a whole new level and what you're saying is so very true!

    I fall within the category of the friend that can't handle a friend who's just lost a loved one...I'm scared of attending funerals of loved ones of my friends becuz seeing my friend in that state could equally break me.

    I remember when a friend lost her husband while she was on leave from work, I just didnt know how to pick up the phone and call and what to say. I simply became a cellphone vegetable(if that makes any sense)..Thanks so much for sharing this. It makes so much sense now

  15. @Daveda

    I agree with you when u say

    "I think the more we learn to rely on God to meet our every need, the less we feel the need to place those expectations on our friends and family. Allowing ourselves to simply love them."

    Its an amazing gift when we have that friend that would be there through IT ALL, but we shouldn't impose just cos we have certain expectations

    I sure would look out for the book, seems like it would be a good read...and its so good to hear from you again

    @ aloted

    I am glad about that too and i guess i have also been spared unnecessary disappointments with this mindset


    True that...only He totally gets us

    @ Afronuts

    You know...i so understand...some of us just don have the ability to deal with uncomfortable situations...but somehow, we try to find a way to say..."I still care"