While reading last night, I stumbled across this quote by William Penn...
"Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keeping what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away."
Anyone who has been my friend for any length of time knows that I usually have to say 999 words in order to get to the 1,000th word that actually says what I think, feel, and believe. Those first 999 words can be all over the place and make absolutely no sense at all. They can be critical and negative or they can be full of compassion and love. No matter what the topic, I will always speak honestly (most of the time, too honestly - I think most of my close friends wish I wasn't so open all of the time!) and even if I know that what I am saying is contrary to the way I am supposed to feel or act, I love knowing that my real friends will do as this quote says and be able to sort through my words with kindness in order to find the truth in what I am saying. No, this doesn't give me the freedom to say whatever I want or to hurt people with my words, but it does give me the freedom to be myself and to be honest with the people who are God-in-skin to me.
I hope that you have friends like mine who allow you to be yourself, who accept you just as you are and not for what you give to them, and who can listen to you and understand what you are trying to say. I am so thankful for my friends and pray that they would consider me this kind of friend as well, even if I do talk too much.