“Oh, do you know them?”
“I know who they are.”
A difference in semantics that disguises a greater truth that I fear is slowly taking over our culture: we don’t know each other.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs…they provide a million points of connection, yet leave us without a deep relationship of truly knowing one another.
To know someone is an exciting, heartbreaking, vitally important connection that is slowly leaking away from everyday life. It has to do with how I treated you when you went through a break-up, or a bitter divorce, or how you treated me when I lost my mother. It is forged in hospital waiting rooms, the aftermath of a bitter misunderstanding, or in the conversation with tear stained tissues and tightly clenched hands.
Somehow, the best, most lasting relationships have their foundations in pain and difficulty. If we stuck through hard times with a person, we can count on that person not fading out when the next hard time comes. Difficult issues come in every relationship; there is no escaping it! So the question is: Will we walk through it with one another? Or throw up our hands in defeat, mumbling how it’s just too hard and takes too much effort?
My best friends are the women I can say anything to, even if that truth is hard for them to hear. In turn, they have the same freedom with me. I depend on my girlfriends to kick me in the butt when I need it! They have my back–they are a calm outer view that helps guide me in making good choices in my life. I depend on their voices. I have walked down some dark roads with my friends, and in doing so, have found women that aren’t trying to prove anything or fake their way through life.
Women like this are worth every bit of relationship maintenance. Their friendship buoys, sustains, and protects us. Realistically, in most instances, Facebook is not going to help us find or keep this kind of woman. We are more “connected” than ever, but what has our society truly gained from these information-gathering systems? Yeah, we found that friend from high school, but now what?
I fully believe we, as women NEED true authentic friendships with other women. Not the backstabbing, upstaging, negative relationships that sometimes parade as friendships. We need the kind of friendship that sees the best in us and showcases it for others to see. These kinds of relationships take serious time, effort, and difficulty traversed together. We must not lose them in the business of life. We must not give these relationships away for the clutter of social media outlets. We must not isolate ourselves behind our computer screens or we will lose that which our souls depend on: to know and be known.
Photo Credit: Pinterest.com