She was my best friend, you know the kind of friend. The one you get a matching tattoo with, share all your secrets and have an infinite amount of inside jokes with. The one you let in the birthing room of your first born, ask her to be the Godmother of said child and your next child. The one who you called sister and spent every holiday with. The one who you would talk to on the phone daily for 3 hours easy and still text all day long. That's the best friend I had for the last 12 years and broke up with. The one who is no longer my friend. The one from whom I’ve learned so much about myself, and relationships.
Why did we break up? I simply discovered that while we were similar in many ways, our primary difference was so great at the core that it created an irreconcilable rift.
Lesson 1: Friendship Breakups Can Hurt as Bad a Boyfriend Breakups
I’ve ended friendships before. Things happen. People grow apart. But none of those endings ever felt like this. This hurts. And, truthfully? I can't get over how much this feels like breaking up with a boyfriend. It amazes me, like Omarian "icebox where my heart used to be" feelings and everything. Whoever thinks to themselves my BFF and I will stop talking one day? How do you prepare? So yeah that is the first thing I learned. There will be friendships in your lifetime that will break your heart.
Lesson 2: I Didn't Marry My Best Friend
Breaking up with my best friend made me realize my husband was not my best friend. I always heard how people would say "I married my best friend" and I would naively giggle thinking, pfft, whatever I have my best friend and it is not my husband and she's the greatest. See unlike a friendship, you fight for your marriage, I mean I would. So in reality this whole time my husband should have been my best friend, because I now realize how much he has my back, especially during this time. When I find a funny meme I want to tag her on, I tag him, any video or funny comment thread - I tag him. Now we are working on being best friends.
Lesson 3: I Should Have Been Watering My Own Grass More
While we are on the topic of marriage friendships, the moment I felt her absence I realized just how close I wasn't to my husband. I preach, "Water your own grass" all the time but it turns out I wasn't watering my marriage as much as I could have; because I was too busy watering my friendship. So in a sense my friendship was preventing my relationship with my husband from going to deeper and higher levels. I never attempted to work on him “getting me” because she did. Looking back on it, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I often chose my BFF over my husband. That is the third thing I learned; Spending more time with my husband, communicating well and having more fun together will strengthen our friendship.
Lesson 4: Not Everyone is Team Impartial
Friends we had in common took sides. All of the sudden it’s all Team Edward or Team Jacob except I am Jacob and no one is on my team. People will feel the need to side and question your character, they won't even take the time to ask how are you feeling through it all. That is fine, but at the end of the day I want to be on the side that is edifying and elevating regardless of right or wrongs, opinions and biases. Someone else’s position can’t make me change my own no matter how strongly they disagree. Not everyone who says they are your friend will be objective. That leads me to another little lesson; I need a team where iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
Lesson 5: You May Never Fully Know Someone and That’s Okay
I also learned that you never really stop learning who a person is. I mean I thought we were so much alike but when push comes to shove that's when people’s true colors are demonstrated. You have to ask yourself is this someone that I want to associate myself with? Yes I can forgive and move past it but at the bottom, at the core does this person truly share my morals, standards and values? If not then as sad as it is, it's not even a friendship worth salvaging.
Lesson 6: I was a gossiper and complainer
You never truly realize how much you enjoy gossip or how much you complain until you go to do it and have no one to do it with. I’ve caught myself wanting to exchange sarcastic or snooty remarks, murmurs or as we would call it, “commentary.” For the most part I just keep it all to myself now, It’s great that I am not being as negative but at moments it's hurtful knowing I know longer have this persons to share things with even if it is grumbling or slander. Complaining was probably blocks my blessings so now before I talk about it I try to pray about it.
Lesson 7: I realized having a BFF Subconsciously made me Insecure
·Every single decision or at least it felt like every single decision, I made, I made it with her. I realized about two weeks ago that I don't need anyone to validate me or my choices. I don't need a second opinion and shouldn't second guess myself. But for the past 12 years I have made every decision, major or miniscule with her, consulting her first. This one or that one, red or blue, left or right. Because I had had someone in my corner, not having someone for the past 6 months has made me feel like I need one someone. But I don't, I have myself, I have the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I have my faith, my family and my sense of humor. I don't need a cheerleader or a supporter. I don't need her, a sister or a best friend. I already have all I've ever needed. It is ok to be my own best friend and make decisions on my own.
Lesson 8: I need to Forgive 70 x 7 Times
Somedays I don't know what hurts more the fact that I lost my best friend, that I don't have a best friend or that I didn't know who she was. Or maybe what hurts the most is how a whole family was broken, I lost a sister and my kids lost an aunt/Godmother. I feel like those women scorned over ex's. At the moment I am not ready to begin new friendships and feel bitter when others gush about their BFF. Then that hurts me too, the end of this friendship with someone I loved so much, called sister and shared every moment and milestone with for the past 12 years has me afraid to make new friends. What all this has made me realize is that where there is pain there is unforgiveness. Until there is no pain attached to what once was a beautiful friendship, I need to continue forgiving until I am healed. That leads me to my final lesson; the end of meaningful friendships take lots of prayer and time to heal.
We had a great run, no other friendship will compare but I know there is beauty in the ashes for both of us.
I'M ALICIA GIBBS
Faith + Family!
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