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11 June, 2021

Loving the honesty of relationships

I LOVE the honesty of my relationships.

By Meredith Papas

Over the years I have come to know – and truly appreciate – people in my life who tell it as it is, and for whom friendship, acquaintance or association is based on a level of real and unapologetic honesty.

During the past couple of months, I have had the chance to reconnect with people and rekindle relationships which I had let kinda go by the wayside during recent years.

For many reasons I was quite happy to bury myself in work, family and what I termed the “busyness” of life with kids heavily invested in extra-curricular chaos, and hide under a rock – emerging only when I absolutely had to.

My friends got it.

They knew the deal and, bless them and their fabulousness, they understood.

The others, either thought I had just dropped off the radar, didn’t care or didn’t miss that I wasn’t around; and none of that really mattered.

It was what it was!

This week, though, I had a bit of a startling reality thrown at me when someone I had known for quite some time – but we had only really had a business association and were only on each others’ periphery – threw me well-intended, but still (completely unintentionally) brutal truth.

“When I saw your message, I did wonder what was happening, because you know, I thought, well, Meredith only really gets in touch with me if she wants something!”

Blimey that hurt!

And struck a chord!

Because, to an extent, it’s true – although with any take, I believe firmly in an offering of ‘give’.

Reassuringly, they said it wasn’t an insult or slight – and I known this person and love their honesty such that I believe them – but it still made me think.

Another old school friend and I, who have only recently reacquainted, met for a coffee and catch up and following on, they text me to be sure that everything we spoke about stayed between us.

Given their position, and given they were talking to a newspaper editor, it was a sensible inquiry for them to make.

The third in this cadence of relationship revelation, came over a lunch meeting with a mate and former colleague.

We talked about a lot of things but we talked most about the value of relationships – as in REAL relationships.

It was crystalising.

See, the real relationships are the ones where you can call it as it is and ask the questions.

They are the ones which are nurtured, but not in the way where you have to walk on eggshells or make hard work of them.

Of course, there are some which will be harder to make work than others – and some for which you will fight for harder than others - but if there is one thing I have learned over the years, it’s that the best relationships are those built on mutual understanding, respect and honesty.

Those are the ones which endure the test of time, adversity, good times and bad.

There is a lot to be said for that old truth, that the best of friendships (and not in the BFF sense) are those where you might not speak for ages, but when you do it’s like it was only yesterday you last connected.

Not everyone is your friend.

Not every friend will be a friend for life.

Another beautiful old (as in longevity, not age!) friend recited to me that adage,

“Friends for a reason, season and life”.

My goodness, that is true.

Whatever the reason or season, or whether for life; or whether they’re an associate, an acquaintance or a friend for good times and bad – there remains one steadfast nucleus from which the relationship stems.

Honesty. First. Last.

And at every juncture in between. I

f you have that, then you have everything.

And my goodness, that is fabulous!

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