So, in the last month or two I've been really trying to figure out what it is that I am drawn to when it comes to other people and their friendship.. or in some cases what turns off my desire to be friends. Brit and I have had numerous conversations about what we feel we need in a friend, what makes us feel secure, taken care of.. essentially what makes us feel safe in the friendship. We've talked about characteristics of that friendship and what it would include and what definitely would not be included in a friendship where you feel safe. So, I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on that...
Yesterday, a friend brought up the idea that without vulnerability in love all there is, is deep appreciation. That lead to a long discussion because someone brought up the idea that what about adoration.. which lead us to discuss the fact that it depends on if it's adoration towards God, or towards someone..
My thoughts on it (after verbally processing this of course lol) is that Adoration of God requires vulnerability.. love of God requires vulnerability.. But, that isn't the case towards another person. If I truly adore another person.. it isn't "right".. there's something wrong with that, and I'm not talking about the cute little quaint "aww I adore them.." But actual true adoration. You can't truly adore another person, it becomes false and twisted, and isn't a real relationship with them.. the only thing we are supposed to adore in the true sense of the word is Jesus. So, if I adore another person it becomes much closer to obsession, and I may think I'm being vulnerable, but in reality there isn't a correct relationship there to begin with, so I've created a false vulnerability.. one that would still allow me to get hurt, but it would be completely self inflicted and would have nothing to do with the other person, so it wouldn't be actual vulnerability.
Ok, now that you are starting to see where the vulnerability comes in, here's where it applies in the manner that I've been thinking about it for a while now..
For myself personally I will be friends with virtually anyone... but it takes special people to be true special friends to me. The reason is in my opinion I need stronger people as friends or I will sorta run over them and the friendship.. Not on purpose, but mainly because I have such a forceful, strong willed, stubborn, outgoing personality. So, I will be friends with those people, but I am also under the impression they cannot handle all the different sides of my personality (like when I'm mad :). I have determined that not only do I need strong friends, and by that I'm not saying outgoing extroverted friends either, but friends who are not afraid of my reaction. I have found that people who can listen to me vent, ramble, get excited, and help me process through whatever it is I'm dealing with are the ones that I tend to cling to. :) But, that isn't all of it.. I need friends who do exactly the same towards me. I need to know that I'm not burdening them with all of my issues and ramblings without also knowing they are doing the same. Part of that is it makes me feel like I'm on a level playing field, and part of it is that because they mean so much to me I need to know whats going on so I can also be there for them and take care of them in whatever possible way I can.
I really struggle when people want to know all kinds of things about me, without also sharing things about themselves.. Sometimes it can be as simple as a "20 questions game" and other times it just involves them randomly deciding to tell you something important to them or something they've been thinking about.. but my favorite is when you have inside jokes that they seek you out to tell you and remind you about, because it reminds me that there is a connection that only the two of you share.
I cannot begin to explain how special and needed I feel when a friend confides in me about something that is not to ever be public knowledge.. It gives me the special task of proving yet again that I am THEIR friend, that I can be trusted, and that I will hold true to my task of showing them love in any way that I can. I find it almost a slap in the face when someone asks me not to tell, then later asks if I've told anyone.. and their reasoning is that I just "seem" like the type that would let it slip.. Sadness for sure, I am not only good at hiding my own secrets, I am good at hiding other's as well.
I love when I am close enough with someone that they understand how I process through issues or what I am needing at that particular point in time.. and they are there for me. Especially being here in VA where I cannot simply run home, climb into bed with my mom while she should be sleeping and just tell her what's going on.. Or to sit with my dad at the breakfast bar or cuddled up on the couch next to the fireplace for hours after everyone else has given up, and gone to bed and just talking... Or sprawled on my brothers bed laughing and talking about whatever happens to wander into our heads... I don't have that here, and yet God has lovingly provided me with people who have been able to fill that.. obviously not in the same way, but in a very real needed way. Even down to sitting next to me on the couch and being ok that our arms are touching. Laying in a friends bed and laughing at whatever things we think are amusing or how funny we think the guys are... And then of course hugs which I'm still convinced make the world a better place, especially when given by a couple of my guy friends who understand how to give a good hug haha :)
People who are vulnerable are so incredibly attractive to me. They not only love me, but give me the opportunity to love them in return.