I had a talk with a friend of mine today, and during that conversation, they expressed a concern over something minor I had done a few times that could end up having negative ramifications for them and/or their significant other. Nothing had happened yet, but of course, I apologized, and they well knew that I would never intentionally do something that could cause a problem for them. There was no misunderstanding between us; it was more based on the nervousness of what other people could judge about it if they didn't know or chose not to find out the story of what our friendship is really like.
But it got me to thinking about something, and we even talked about it for a minute. I don't think I ever would have realized that that thing I had done could turn out to be a bad thing, because it really was that minor, but as soon as it was mentioned to me, I understood. I needed this person to point it out. My mom would call me oblivious, Holly would call me naive, but the root of the problem is that despite the wonderful group of close and loyal friends that I have now, I still have no freakin' idea what I'm doing most of the time.
Part of me thinks I should have figured at least some of it out by now, but part of me thinks it's going to take a lot more than 2.5 years of forming friendships to counteract the mental damage that 12 years of either having Matt or having no one at all did to my ability to be friends with other people. And I mean that only in the sense that all those years that everyone else was forming friendships and figuring out how to be friends with the same and opposite sex people, learning boundaries and what's appropriate and where lines need to be, I missed out. I'm just getting the chance to figure it out now, when everyone else thinks it's common knowledge. I'm just blessed to have the handful of people who are closest to me who know that and get that and love me even when I mess it up. Heck, I told Ryann on several occasions that she was my guinea pig for figuring out what it meant to be best friends with a girl..
And then the conversation got to a point where I knew I didn't have to worry about this person and me, because they proceeded to analyze who I am as a person and as a friend just about as good as I've ever been able to, and I like to think I've got a pretty good handle on who I am. This person flat out called the intense way I care about the people in my life a good thing, and knew without me saying it that the reason behind all those times I got hurt in the past was because my intensity came off wrong and people misunderstood my heart behind the way I loved them. Hearing this just made me that much more thankful for the group of people I have walking with me who know my heart so well they can see it behind my mess ups.
This person also understood something that very few people have in my past: when I say that I need my friends to tell me 100% honestly if I've done something to hurt them, or annoy them, or bother them in the least, I mean it. They said that most people assume I don't really mean that, and they saw today that I really did by the way that I reacted to their concern. I never have to worry about where things stand with this person, or Ryann, or Matt, or several others, because they get it. They come to me full of honesty and second chances so I can do my best to rectify the situation.
There aren't words to describe how thankful I am that these people instinctively know that despite however many times I may not think something through all the way or simply just go wrong, I am still learning, and I am loving them the best that I know how. There's such a sense of security in that, security I never had before, and it is such a sweet picture of the Lord.