I was driving down a busy expressway when I saw a dove carelessly standing inches away from cars barreling down the road. It was then the question hit me, what is the difference between trust and stupidity? The bird was close to the edge of danger, yet it was smart enough to be on the other side of the white line. How often am I that bird? How frequently do I trust others and in doing so, put myself so close to danger?
The way I see it, in relationships and friendships, as children we are rookies. At first, everyone is friendly to one another, especially in the small town that I grew up in. If you weren't, then your parents wouldn't be notified by the teacher, but at bunco or church that night. As young children we don't pay as much attention to name brands, looks, or what makes everyone different. We were friends with everyone, lacking little or no concern about what we are going to get out of it or if our friend is a positive influence in our lives. No, we just see that they want to play kickball and so do you.
Somewhere in between that pure and trusting childhood state and our adult lives we loose that. Sometimes out of safety we are forced to judge, like if the man coming at us with the knife is trying to kill us or clip a stray thread on our collar. But too often we give up the opportunity to make a new lasting friendship from a first judgement. At some point, our friend pool dwindles down, to the brave and the few. Instead of getting upset we just learn to nurture those precious relationships, but sometimes they aren't nurtured in return. For whatever reason, it was acceptable to let some friendships wash away, but others can hold a toxic grip on us. We are the bird that is too close to crossing the white line between happiness and health into destruction and deception. We don't want to let go. We don't know how to let go.
They say letting go is the hardest part, but some people don't know how to thrive without their best friend. Friendships are often harder and scarier than relationships. Although some relationships have the romance factor that keeps some people holding on, so many have a sense that tells them to stay guarded. That little voice that says, "I'm not happy, I'm not okay, I need to get away!" In friendships, we don't hear that as clearly and can put ourselves through unnecessary agony and stress. I have to realize when I am that bird, I don't heed to my own warnings when I'm not okay, and when to say no to being bullied.
As a friend, you should be concerned about your friends feelings but not to the point of being afraid or tourmented. Vulnerability to others in my life has been reserved to a precious few. I'm learning who and what are my white lines and feeling a little lighter and safer.
**Just a statement..this has nothing to do with the friends who will read this or my real life...Thanks:)