I received an email the other day from an old working buddy I knew years ago. It was good to hear from her and although time has intervened, remnants of the years we'd shared are still well entrenched in my memory and heart.
It occurred to me how often throughout my life I let go of friends. More often than I care to admit. I can see now it was largely because I felt that I was too busy to take the time, or I should handle things on my own, or that somehow I didn't measure up and their perceived success symbolized my failure. At times when I needed friends the most, I refused to allow myself to ask for help or even seek out a friend. They had their lives together, why couldn't I? I didn't like feeling inferior and inadequate and so I let them go, as if I was too busy to need a friend.
Because of my pride, I realize now, I missed out on so many shared moments, so many opportunities to be lifted up by a friend and to do the same for them. I've spent too many years running and hiding, and pretending I don't need anyone. It's clear to me now how important friendship is to life, how vulnerable we all are to the ravages of life and loneliness.
I have made a mental shift and I can now see how my fears about what others might have been thinking about me were probably just my own fears - and maybe, just maybe, they were a bit afraid too. We owe it to each other to trust each other a little more, to open our hearts just an inch at a time to let friendship in and allow those who do care about us to buoy us when we need it most.