We can only begin to understand the meaning of friendship when someone confirms for us that we are wrong but supports us regardless. If the people in our lives did not guide us and only agreed with us, we would be locked into a cycle of fabricated awareness. It is when we are undeniably wrong that we need a friend. If someone tells us that we are doing great and making decent life choices and we are, in fact, not, they do not truly have our best interests at heart. Although it is remarkable to have a friend when we are in need of reassurance, friendship is also about putting in the groundwork. Telling someone that they could be working harder or doing a lot more to contribute to their own happiness is friendship.
It is supporting someone through bad decisions but encouraging them to make better choices. That kind of friendship is selfless and admirable. It is never easy to show tough love, but there is love in it. A love that says, ‘you are better than this. You are down now and I have a shoulder for you and a couch, but tomorrow you do better’.
It is love that says, ‘I have seen your soul and you are wonderful, but you have made a mistake. Lets work through it. I love you enough to tell you that you can be more.’
Friendship does not incite your demons. It does not call on your monsters. It does not let you feel alone, but it does not offer a false sense of security. At the end of the day, I am your friend but this is your life. Your decisions now set the foundation for the life you will go on to build. And I can help you, but to a point. I will not lie and tell you that your foundation is solid when it is full of cracks.
There is no substitute for good friendship, for a friend that gets you to smile for the first time since you have had your heartbroken. There is no replacement for a friend that is honest even when you do not want to hear it. These are the people who can fill you up when you need it the most.
Being a friend does not mean that you are only around when things are going well. Friendships are tested through adversity; during the unpleasant roller-coaster that life can bring us. It is easy to simply coast through it and detach from relationships during these times. It is heroic to stand unyielding through hardship. It is beautiful to hold someone’s hand a walk through the darkness with them.