Friendship is a funny thing. Unless the relationship is not bonded by blood, who can you trust? Even blood will not guarantee loyalty. Going through a lifetime of ups and downs can prove that sometimes, you cannot even trust yourself. Fortunately, life always presents itself with tests proving where a person's intentions really are. Besides the daily grind of an average person, who has time to think about a person's motive? I'd like to believe we surround ourselves with people boosters and high-energy relationships, but when that one sour soul washes to shore hoping to disrupt your life, what do you do? I was recently approached with a question that I have not yet found peace with, a question that threatens to open up a Pandora's Box that will later haunt me. As a person who has overcome heartache, medical conditions, struggles with motherhood and torn friendships, I figure that I will easily brush it off and continue forward. But the question "What if" lingers, and now it's time to open up.
Regardless of the tale of friends and the illusion of butterflies and unicorns, many childhood friends do not stand the test of time and the rare percentage that do know the value of their relationship and work on their communication skills on a daily basis. In the beginning of time, kindergarten teachers and aids taught "people skills" and how to appropriately confront someone. No hitting or screaming, no pulling or stealing. These were childhood lessons you learned in a classroom. The question is how to apply those lessons to life. As we grow into young adults, we learn from our elders how to create a respect level and draw boundaries. We practice our daily good deeds and show common courtesy. We ask questions and value opinions. We are in a flexible state of mind that is molded by our surroundings. Fast-forward into our late teens and early 20s, where we practice creating solid foundations and form long-term relationships. By now we can judge what we like and don't like in people and gravitate towards the "good vibe" people radiate. But, how accurate are we in our assessments?
If there was a mold for a perfect friendship, Oprah and Gayle would have already patented and profited from it. Their interviews are inspiring and brutally open and honest. They prove genuine companionship exist. An interview in "O" magazine opens the floor for them and was an opportunity to allow outsiders in their relationship. This lengthy article is a blueprint and the simplicity that should be mimicked by many. Oprah's priority is her friend Gayle and when the focus was shifted onto Stedman and his approval of their relationship, Oprah answered "See, that would never be a question for me. If you don't like my best friend, then you don't like me. That's not negotiable. Smoking is nonnegotiable. It's just a deal breaker. Not liking my best friend--forget it! Or my dogs -- you gots to go!" Sticking up for her friend is the first step and respecting her decisions is second. Lucy and Ethel sing about friendship in the classic tune "Friendship" from the old Cole Porter musical, "Anything Goes." They remind us of a bond that is based on honesty and humor. Our diversity, our growth and our tone all seem to shift us from our candid selves and interfere with forming solid foundations with people. When is it OK to put your guard down and allow someone in?
This Pandora's Box that has been newly presented to me is one that holds envy, love, passion and memories, yet none of them are even mine. I am a strong mother and survivor, but even I know what my weakness is. A close friend has referenced time and time again that I must see the good in people and let the past go, but now, being presented with this obstacle makes it clear that the past will always haunt you. Life is designed for us to laugh, cry and share intimate details into our soul, but is it possible to end a connection or are you linked indefinitely by those emotions? And is there anything wrong with that? So the question is, by opening a part of your past does that establish closure or reopen an era?
As a society, we are curious what lurks behind each corner which convinces me that I am going to sneak a peek. Having already been put in this situation also confirms that this will be a new obstacle. Thankfully I have my own "Gayle and Ethel" who reassure me that I will defeat and come out on top as a warrior slaying those in my way. Preferably, this might be my way of empting this wretched box and opening a new chapter loaded with self-cleansing and peace of mind. My suggestions now having time to clear my thoughts... don't be afraid to approach the unknown. Rather, look it in the eye and rise above it. My "Survivor" title challenges me every day and considering life as my biggest threat, I believe we all have the strength to either keep the box closed but I prefer "opening it at your own risk".
Read Oprah and Gayle's whole interview: http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Gayle-King-and-Oprah-Uncensored-The-O-Magazine-Interview/10#ixzz2OTfiC6Bu