I have very few people I call my friends. It has nothing to do with how likeable I am. Really, it is has nothing to do with my likability. It is just my temperament or my personality type. In the Myers-Briggs temperament typology I am a classic INFJ. Yep, that is probably the introvert of the introverts. Part and parcel of that temperament is a tendency to have very few, but long time friends. That's me. It takes me awhile, but once I call a person my friend, it is sealed. It is for a lifetime. My feelings run deep when it comes to my friends.
I have had some friends in crisis this week. A family member is extremely ill. The family has been called in twice, not thinking the person would make it through the day or night. The height of the crisis came this past Monday night when it looked certain the person was not going to make it. I received a phone call late in the night from my friends saying they needed to get to the hospital immediately. Could I come over and stay with the boys? Without hesitation, I said yes. We all remained in heightened mode until Wednesday when, thankfully, the family member seemed to stabilize some. I was grateful to be able to help.
What makes me even more thankful is that this is a relationship that has been mended. A couple of years ago there were some painful things that happened in my circle of friends and we all went away damaged, limping and bruised. This couple in particular were singled out in the drama and treated rather unjustly. I really thought this particular relationship was one that would never be restored. The hurts were just too deep. The misunderstandings just kept piling up and not going away. It was a friendship that I truly mourned the loss. But, the last year has gradually brought reconciliation and a return of trust and intimacy. It required facing some really ugly realities, mountains of hurt, being honest about them and then the process of getting past them and letting it go.
The importance of the restoration of the friendship has struck me this week. There are certain relationships that I have quite purposefully avoided. I have never married primarily because I've never felt I had the ability to make that type of relationship work. I have always thought it would get to be too much and I would want to bolt, or that I didn't have the emotional stamina to sustain it. It has been a self-protection mechanism really. And now that I really think about it a really poor one at that. Quite frankly it has dawned on me, "What the hell have I been thinking?" I really don't have an answer, but I've realized that my emotional make-up is really the opposite. I fight and I fight hard for what I love. I will, and have, gone to incredible lengths to keep those who are important to me in my life. I have the ability to weather incredible adversity and still survive.
What does this have to do with this lifestyle? Not sure. I only know I am doing ALOT of soul searching about who I am, what I want and where I am going to go with it. It's amazing to look at myself and think I have alot to give and I really, really want to give it.