Making friends as an adult is HARD work- and once relationships come to fruition, the bond can easily become deep for women. We often tend to share with each other things very different from what is shared by our male counterparts. Intimate details about our bodies, our fears, our children are exposed and we are vulnerable putting it all out there for the world to see.
But, how do we know we are ready to share and who we are going to share with? I don't know about you, but I have plenty of top layer, superficial, "hi, how's it going" friendships. I actually don't want any more of the, "my day is great, my life is great, and didn't you see my FB post" friendships. I want the nitty gritty messy vulnerable friendships. The ones that go beyond small talk. I want to offer help and to be helped. I want to share. I want to vent and to rest my head on the shoulder of a good friend. A confidante.
Brene Brown refers to these friends, the nitty-gritty-get-messy-and-vulnerable-with friends your "marble jar" friends. Here's the excerpt from her recent published title, Dare to Lead which echoes her initial introduction to the concept from her book, Daring Greatly.
"Ah, the marble jar, perfect.
We trust the people who have earned marbles over time in our life. Whenever someone supports you, or is kind to you, or sticks up for you, or honors what you share with them as private, you put marbles in the jar. When people are mean or disrespectful or share your secrets, marbles come out. We look for the people who, over time, put marbles in, and in, and in until you look up one day and they are holding a full jar. Those are the folks you can tell your secrets to. Those are the folks that you trust with information that is important to you."
Do you have marble jar friends?
It is my hope that during the past few years, as you have grown within the invisible walls of this league, that you have found some marble jar friends. That they have NOT shared your secrets and your worries without your consent, that they have not left you hanging or made you feel small about your parenting style...that when you moved on from nursing, that they hugged you and supported you. I hope your marble jar friend called you when her son got in trouble at school, and that you comforted her and reminded her that this was not a reflection of her efforts to raise a perfectly well behaved little boy. I hope that when her father died, you showed up. And maybe you didn't say a word- but you looked at her from across the room and helped to hold her up in her darkest moments. I hope she can call you if she finds out she is isn't feeling well, the morning she finds a mysterious lump or mark on her skin and is scared out of her wits. That she can shoot you a text with an unexpected positive on a pregnancy test for a child she hasn't planned.... And that she can say it out loud to you without being judged. That she can tell you she is afraid to live and afraid to die.
I hope you have found your marble jar friends. If you haven't, call me. I will bring my jar, my marbles and my boots and we will clean up the $hi+ together. Let's promise to find a way to lean in, find someone totrust whether we are in the Middle Ages, the dark ages... or peri-menopause. Whatever comes first yall. ALL. THE. AGES. #trust Years to build and just a few words to crush. Aspire to be the friend that your friends and peers can trust. Be a #marblejar friend.