Chicken Soup…..

Friendships cannot be hastily built for they are something to be nurtured and encouraged.  These sorts of relationships develop slowly and should, when the foundations of trust, love and mutual respect are cemented, be something that will last us a life time if we are one of the lucky few.   Friendships are to be enjoyed but just like every relationship, they are hard work.  They can be as complicated as they are rewarding and you need to take great care with them as bonds like these can become your home-made chicken soup.

Friendships allow you the comfort of a warm place to lay your heart, your soul and your head and when there, this should be a place to feel safe, appreciated and loved.  When life and all that goes along with it leaves you a little battered and wind swept, you know this is the one place you can hunker down at for a while until the storm passes.

You will learn to understand that your true friends will be those who you know will stand up for you no matter what the cost.  They do not hold you back and  they do not tear you down.  Loyal friends do not ostricise or ignore you and they certainly do not shun you because they feel they have to fit in with others for their own self preservation.  Friends should have the mindfulness not listen to others but instead listen to their own hearts and live by their own ideals and convictions.  Along with this you should find that true friends support you and when you tell them something in the strictest of confidence, that is exactly how it remains.

Very sadly however, friendships can have a much darker side.  I don’t think there is anyone who has not suffered the effects of losing what you thought was a friend especially when that friend betrays you in the worst possible way.  With the gentlest of hands you give them something.  You have offered something so valuable that you believe you can entrust this one and only person with it.  But in return for your trust, they betray you.   And know this – the worst betrayal you will suffer will never come from your enemies.

I am doing much soul searching at the moment about friendships and their cost.  These are very difficult and distressing times at present too so overall things are quite hellish.  I guess sometimes life brings you to a seemingly impassable wall which you do not believe you can ever overcome.  It will seem an almost insurmountable task to get over this hurdle but you know you must either navigate around it, go over it or you have to go through it because you cannot just stand there and stare at it for it will not go away.

I love this incredible image.  It is the acclaimed Southern chef Edna Lewis and cookbook author Marion Cunningham (not the Happy Days Mrs C. either) and it depicts what I consider to be the essence and beauty of a true friendship.  There is laughter, love, ease, comfort of conversation and true joy between these two women……

It is the ultimate Holy Grail because if you find that, you find everything!

Now I am NO expert on friends and friendships because I will very honestly state that I am not a good friend!  In fact, I’m a pretty rotten friend to have and I know and acknowledge that.  I don’t stay in touch with people, it is rare that I contact people and I don’t look for friends.  I am also very solitary in that I love my own company and I never get lonely.  I am fiercely independent and I protect my privacy and myself.  I never get bored therefore I never have the inclination or desire to constantly seek people out.  I’m low maintenance, I don’t need to be entertained and nor do I like entertaining others!  Writing, as you can probably imagine, is one of the most solitary of crafts and happily, it appears to be the perfect fit for me.

Frankly, given all that I have put out there about myself, I would not want to be friends with me either.  One thing I do know however is that if you value someone as your friend or a friendship, you should fight for it when things go pear shaped….and sometimes they do.  Perhaps someone will come along and they will see that you have something they desperately crave.   You have something precious which they have never had and they will do anything to take it from you.  Fueled by their own insecurities and jealousies, they will begin a campaign to do all that they can to discredit you and exclude you.  Finding yourself in that situation is difficult and devastating because the interloper is manipulative and sly and they are working very hard to destroy not only the relationships you have built with others but also you! and all whilst scurrying about on thick, water retentive bandy legs.

And sadly, you may have allowed this to happen.  Okay, I allowed it to happen because foolishly I always see the good in a person even when that person shows me exactly who they truly are!   I ignored the very clear warning signals and I now know that instead of letting someone destroy things, I should maybe have fought a little harder.

Sometimes too, when the bottom falls out of a friendship you just have to be the one who swallows their pride, steps up and says ‘I know we are no longer friends but I wish one of us was brave enough and not so bloody pig headed to do something about it’.   If you believe some friendships are worth it, then fight for them because when they are gone, they are gone forever!  They can never be restored or replaced and nothing in that relationship will be the same again – just as the betrayal of trust can never ever be salvaged.

Life has a funny way of working itself out though and although it is difficult to keep your faith in humanity at times, know that all will be okay.  It really is going to be okay.  Very luckily I have some amazing and wonderful people in my life who are true, beautiful and good and for that, I am truly grateful.  Those numbers are small but significant because they represent love and care (which is mutual) and that in itself is huge.  These small few are the only people I would ever want as my chicken soup.

I long ago discovered that it is always best to be very grateful for what you have and for what you have lost for that matter.  When you are thankful for what you have you will always see that you have so much more.  When you are constantly chasing something or someone you will never be content because you will always be needing to fill a gaping hole in your life.

And I have also very happily discovered maple and ginger biscuits (cookies to non Australians) and this I believe, will be the start of very long and beautiful friendship… xx

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22 thoughts on “Chicken Soup…..

  1. OMG!!! I absolutely love this post. It is raw and true and so heartfelt. This is so different to what you normally put up but wow, keep these coming xxx

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Nicole. Yes, a little different from the usual travel blogging but it seems this post has been well received xx

  2. Hey my little ocean baby. you obviously don’t see what I see because I would have you as my bestie any day and always. Is everything okay?? Hang in there……love Jack x

  3. My mom always says “honey, some folk just love to hate. They can’t stand to see others being happy or popular ’cause they is just bad, ugly and nasty to the core”. And the hater got bandy legs. That’s karma honey right there!

    1. Thank you for your comment Rashinda. Yes, very sadly far too many ‘love to hate’. It is so much easier to go through life with a good and kind heart and viewing life as being beautiful rather than spending so much valuable time and energy on being unkind and malicious. And Karma is a funny old thing isn’t it 🙂 xx

  4. I agree with every single word you wrote. I wish I could write like that about my own experiences with some friends and their betrayal and it has happened more than once. Some of these relationships have been so hard and the people have been so cruel that I am glad they aren’t in my life any longer and to be honest I don’t miss them. Why are women so mean to each other ?? and why do they always go after the nicest ones ?? It must have been hard to write this post so thank you for it xxx Enjoy the cookies 🙂

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Allison. Yes, it was a little difficult to write this particular post. I started it and deleted it many times over. I am so sorry that you have had to endure the unkindness of others. I guess, very sadly, there are some in this world who just enjoy seeing others suffer. My only thought on the age old question of ‘why women are mean to each other’ is that unfortunately some women view other women as a threat. Jealousy can do terrible things to some but if they only realized that when women support each other they can achieve amazing things. Take care and yes, I am certainly enjoying far tooooo many cookies xx

  5. You laid it out bare for everyone out there who has suffered a bad friendship/relationship/or friend! But there is nothing worse than a friend who turns on you and destroys you! Beautiful people are not jealous but those with neurotic insecurities and petty jealousies are!

    I don’t believe you would be a bad friend oceangirl63, beautiful people are not rotten friends! Remember that!

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Luca and I will try to keep what you said about ‘beautiful people’ in mind. I guess for me the hardest thing to have to do is forgive. I know and understand that I should because this means I am not excusing their behavior but I am, by forgiving, preventing them from destroying us any further. Big and hard life lessons my friend xx

  6. Hey oceangirl63. I live by the motto that “my value will never decrease based on someone else’s inability to see my worth”. Works for me every time.

  7. Wow. BRAVE. So brave to put it out there that you are not perfect and brave of you to honestly admit and acknowledge that you are not a good friend. No one EVER says that about themselves. They always see and say it is the other person and they say it is never them at fault when it usually is.

  8. Thank you for your lovely comment Emily. I don’t think I’m brave at all……I am just being honest about my shortcomings (of which there are many 🙂 ) xx

  9. Hi Bid, Great piece of writing . 🙂 People come into our lives for various reasons, then walk away when we have learned whatever we needed to from their presence. You have found out that not all friends are truly that! Some conceal a crippled personality under a smiling exterior. The difference between you and them is that you acknowledge your shortcomings. Those ‘so-called’ friends you thought you had found, were not friends nor were they good people. Fair-weather friends never are. (Well, that is what I have found through the years!) Your true friends will be with you for life, whether you are physically with them or simply in their thoughts. Take care and be happy…. xoxo

  10. Thank you xo. In the end, it doesn’t come down to the number of friends (any of us have). What is most important is how real the love, truth, caring and trust of that tiny but very significant number is.

    I think Buddha summed it up best – ‘In the end there are only three things that matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you’. Beautiful words to live by…….xx

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