ah friendship (i can be overzealous here). as a little girl i never thought of my wedding day. i wasn’t one to imagine my marriage or fantasize about what that would look like for me. i wanted a bosom friend. one of my favorite books growing up was anne of green gables. i read all 7 books in the series (more than once). in the book, anne has a best friend (diana) and they are bosom friends (the closest of chosen family). i always took bosom friends to mean: we are of the same heart, and as such, shall be connected forever (and will always adore, support and protect each other). it meant safety to me, and love that was untouchable. i really wanted such a friend, more than most anything. so i let a lot of girls in (deep in). while others were on first dates imagining their special day, i was sharing secrets with girlfriends, buying them things and hosting picnics i catered personally (as that was how i thought you built closeness, by sharing everything). i wish i could say this turned out well, but quite the contrary – it nearly broke me. i had no business letting so many people so quickly in. it was coming from a rather desperate place (pathetic even). this pattern didn’t end till a year (or so) ago. there is a story of shatter that marks the period (the official ending) in this tale, but i don’t have a need to go into it right now, because i have noticed that i have changed (more wholeness, less neediness). my desire for friendship (of the deepest kind) nearly cost me myself. the stress of working so hard for love in all the wrong ways crushed me (quite literally). there is an understood cultural pity for love of the romantic kind lost, but when it comes to a friendship ending, it seems we all feel a bit confused (disoriented maybe, unclear of how to be with and address the friend hurt). i see it handled most commonly in 3 ways: 1. you shut down, you pretend none of it ever happened and you move on. 2. you find new friends who validate your experience and generally you reveal the “ex” friend’s flaws, weaknesses and secrets to prove your point. 3. you look at you, really look at you… why does this keep happening to you, what is your part, why is it you do what you do, and what can you do differently? now i have used all of these strategies (and i can tell you that none of them feel very good). in fact they all ache the heart. (more than once i have felt i might bleed out.) but i promise you, number 3 brought out the best in me. it has been brutal to face certain parts of me (there is something way more appealing about pretending it was you and not me), but now i get to know so much more of me, and there is no longer a need for me to hide in the dark. and i wouldn’t trade that for the world. so my recommendations: face yourself. choose wisely. play full out. take your time. go deep. open gently. be honest. be bold. be kind. and never apologize for who you are. this, i am pretty sure, is how we find friends most true…. ❤️ emily joy rosen

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