just a ghost that broke my heart before I met you

There’s a song by Laura Marling called Ghosts.  This posts’ title is a line from that song.  It’s a song about a boy going to a girl and divulging all of the “ghosts” that broke his heart before they had met.  He’s opening up to her in hopes for a chance at relationship and her response is, “Lover, please do not fall to your knees, it’s not like I believe in everlasting love.”
I’ve always like this song, mostly because her voice is so unique and haunting, but also just because musically it’s a phenomenal song.  It has all the things that make a song good for me: unexpected harmonies, a good drum track, piano, added touches that really drive it home.  But the lyrics are so sad that it’s always been conflicted.
But lately I’ve been talking a lot about community.  And last night when this song came through my car speakers I realized it was more true than I thought.
In all of the talking I’ve been doing about community I keep coming down to the same fact: friendship is hard.  Community is meant to be deep and lasting, but because it is deep, it’s a huge risk for pain.  And often, when (not if) that pain happens, it leaves a mark.
The thing I’ve recently realized about myself is that I have a lot of those marks.  Friendships that ended and couldn’t be fixed.  Because in a perfect world we would be able to get over our differences, both apologize and be able to reconcile.  But we don’t live in a perfect world, and sometimes our brokenness and immaturity can hinder the process of reconciliation.  So what we end up with is a ripped seam that never quite looks the same again.
And that was me, about a year ago.  I didn’t realize that I had become this hard person who didn’t really believe that I was meant to have deep, lasting friendships.  I thought I’d always be on the fringe, that the ghosts that had broken my heart in my past had caused me to no longer believe in the ability to have meaningful relationships.
But I was wrong.  Oh man I was wrong.  And the only reason I found out I was wrong was that I suddenly had three women who were deeply invested in me and I was (shockingly) deeply invested in them.  I realize that sounds like one day I woke up and they were there but that’s how it felt.  I recently received some good news and upon sharing it with them, their reactions made me realize that I suddenly had “my people.”
But I had to learn a lot of lessons about community along the way.  I realized that if I have a small number of people who really know me and love me on a deeper level, then I have more capacity for others outside of that “inner circle.”  Because I’ve been learning that we each have personalities and limitations when it comes to friendships, so we aren’t (and shouldn’t be) able to be on a deep level with a lot of people.  We have to have tiers, which again – sounds awful but I think it’s really healthy.  And I think that if we were honest about the reality that we aren’t all super deeply close, then we would have better friendships.
Community is a hard thing to pin down and really do well.  But it’s okay, we have time to figure it out.  But for now, I’m super thankful for the three women that have chosen to walk beside me and allow me to walk beside them.  I’m overwhelmingly blessed by their friendship and reciprocal love.  Thanks for helping me love others better.
To close, it’s okay to have a hard heart sometimes, but don’t let it stop you from finding everlasting (friend) love.

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