By: Alyssa Gagnon, Regular Contributor
Today I had the absolute pleasure of reconnecting with two old friends. The unique thing about each of these friendships is that they are both friendships that have been tried. “Fueds” are not something that I easily or often find myself in the middle of, but with each of these two women, something like a feud occurred.
At the time, I was hurt. I now know that they, too, were hurt. However, in the moment of my hurt, self-preservation and the need to coddle my own ego blinded me to the fact that I ever could have been hurtful.
What I know now is that what hurts more than anything is the pain of being separated from someone you care deeply for. Harboring anger for anyone is unhealthy, but when you’re harboring anger for a dear friend? That’s downright heartbreaking.
These friendships have taught me so much about forgiveness and grace. I have learned through them that while my little ego may feel bruised or embarrassed, so do their egos. I have learned to treat a hurt friend with more compassion and less annoyance (because not everyone will handle every situation the way that I do).
I have learned, too, that sometimes a little time is all your broken friendship needs. Time really can heal all wounds, if only you allow it. We get our feelings hurt; we cry; we forget. How soon we forget!
I have learned that a true friend can hurt you when they care the most. A good friend will tell you hard truths. They won’t be afraid to speak their mind, because they trust you to hold their truth with gentle hands. A good friend sometimes must weigh hurting you against the consequences of NOT speaking up. These are the times in which friendship is tested the hardest.
Mostly, I’ve learned that being right or getting my way isn’t worth breaking a friendship. Friendship involves compromise and compassion every day—like any relationship—from both sides. Like anything beautiful, friendships can be really hard. They take a lot of work, and the good ones give a lot back. They key is finding the people who are willing to invest in you just as much as you invest in them.
Each of these women with whom I’ve had friend break-ups will tell me hard truths with honesty and vulnerability like no one else. Each of them is willing to be the first to call or text or visit if that’s what it takes for our friendship to work. Each of them was just as hurt as I was, and each of them had the grace to reconcile.
If you’ve got a friend who will tell hard truths, who will invest endless care and love into your life, and who is willing to break for you, then girl, don’t ever let that go.
Let's Chat! Have you had a friend "break-up?" What did you learn? How did you deal or process? Tell us about it here!
Alyssa grew up on a diet of grilled cheese, books, and ice cream with books predominating. She recently graduated with a Master’s degree in English and lives in her favorite place with her favorite husband (she only has one). Post-graduation, her plans are to start a new women’s magazine that leaves women feeling GREAT about who they are, and to open a publishing house for untapped talent.