I must say, I am one lucky lady to have developed such wonderful friendships in my life. Some of these friendships have been with me since my child and teenage years, while others developed a little later in my life. Regardless, the amount of time I’ve known them really doesn’t matter. It’s the quality of the friendship, the heart of the person and the depth of their overall being. It’s the experiences shared together, the memories made and their loyalty throughout the years.
When my little girl came home from her 1st day of preschool today, the first thing she said was, “Mommy, I made a new friend.” “Her name is Hannah and we are best friends.” “We played house together.” It was at that particular moment when I thought about how important girlfriends are and how much significance they bring to our lives. Even as young as 3, girls love their girlfriends. We need them. We depend on them. With every laugh, smile and tear, we look to our girlfriends for that comfort, guidance, support and company.
At that same time, I also thought, I hope Reese is a good friend. I hope she chooses friends that will treat her how she deserves to be treated. And, I hope Reese never has to feel the hurt and betrayal of a “masked” friendship.
A masked friendship? Yes, you heard me correctly. It’s a friendship that later turns in to heartache and betrayal. In fact, it’s a friend that really turned out to be, the enemy. Unfortunately, it happens to many of us in one form or another. For me, it happened in the worst way. I learned my “best” friend was one of these “masked” friends when I found out she was having an affair with my husband of 14 years, just 3 months after she watched me give birth to my 4th child. Yes, true story.
But, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, through adversity, come some of your biggest lessons learned. And the people who come in your life, come in to it for a reason – both good or bad. I am thankful for the friends in my life who show the true meaning of friendship. They are the good ones, the ones worth keeping and making memories with.
Were there “red flags” with this masked friendship? Looking back, yes, I think there were. When we make a friend, I think it’s important to know their heart, their core values, their commitment and their loyalty – or lack of. This particular person lacked all the above. I saw it at times and in small doses, but I took it as a, “well, it’s the differences that makes the world go around.” And, although we are all different and that is certainly a true statement, I think we need to evaluate how signficant the differences are. I mean, I always lecture and talk to my children about surrounding themselves with good people, friends that make good decisions and don’t seek out trouble. If I want my children to do this, why wouldn’t I have acted on the, “red flags” I noticed. Again, it’s one of those live and learn moments.
I am thankful to have known this masked friend so I can not only appreciate REAL friends, but to also teach my children about recognizing the characteristics of a true friend. It’s a life lesson for sure. I hope my little girl never experiences such awful betrayal and learns the difference between a masked friend and one that’s true. This is why you should choose your friends wisely.
Be selective who you share your secrets with. Be cautious with who you open up to. Be protective of your loved ones. Listen to your gut when you sense something is wrong. Never keep a friend close whose values and history are jaded.