I finally wrote to a friend today. An edited version of what I wrote:
I look for deep friendship and deep commitment in my life. I look for people who can look at the pain and disappointments of life honestly, not to push them away and "just pray until you get a breakthrough" or sweep them under the carpet. I believe in experiencing the disappointments and receiving healing. All my life I just have wanted to escape the performance and pressure and live on a real honest level.
I am sure you have a sincere love and compassion for the hurting. That is God’s gift in you, to the world. I am sure you want to build strong friendships.
Changing the world takes decades, and it doesn’t happen by pure passion. The real costs are not the time and energy and tiredness, the greatest costs are to do with our view of ourselves. I have come to see that only the broken and humble will change the world. I want to get there, and remain there. I look for friends who affirm and celebrate all that is great in me and still remind me of our brokenness – not just with words but with their lives.
I feel a lot of pressure in our friendship because I am alarmed at your sensitivity and interpretation of things. I see the defensive way you react to criticism. But you don’t need to be defensive – because friendship is acceptance of weaknesses. It is acceptance of apology. Acceptance of times when you disappoint me and I disappoint you. Can you allow me to accept you, please.
Friendship is also a celebration of strengths. You cannot truly encourage someone without also letting the person know you see all their failures and flaws – and see past that. 🙂
I treasure people who tell me when I disappoint them – did you know that? It takes love and strength to share something that might upset the other person, and that’s why it is precious.
I wish I had the awareness to tell you this earlier. I am sorry for all the over apologising I have done in our friendship. I feel very regretful because I don’t think my behaviour helped either of us.
And lest you think wow Jasmine is really insightful, I am ashamed (but relieved and glad) to say it has taken me a humbling to realise that my truest friends, the ones with hearts of gold, are the ones I have dismissed and overlooked as uncool.
They were the ones who saw and celebrated the best in me – when I myself did not see it. What a pity it has taken me so long…but at the same time, what a blessing that I see more clearly now.
Brokenness can be a very good thing. 🙂