When I think about the qualities I seek out in another person, whether it is a lover or a friend, there are a few qualities that always top the list…honesty, candor, sense of humor, confidence, thoughtfulness, loyalty, and authenticity.

Here is what I don’t want, spitefulness, jealousy, aggression, dishonesty, cattiness, negativity, or malice.

Which brings me to the question of the day, and honestly the last several weeks of my life. Once a friend has hurt you, and betrayed your trust, can the relationship ever be the same?

I go back and forth on this one. Part of me thinks, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice,shame on me. Yet, another part knows that life, and more specifically relationships are not that black and white.

As we get older, and our lives get more complicated, should we fight for our friendships? Is it worth it?

I have always been a people pleaser, I get along with everyone, and rarely meet a stranger. However, my number of close friends is small. My friendships are important to me, and I invest my heart and soul into those relationships. So, over the last several weeks as I have struggled with whether or not to try and resuscitate a faltering friendship, I keep asking myself, am I willing to risk being hurt again? Does my affection for this person outweigh my fear of another crushing blow?

The answer to that question haunts me. John Connolly once said, “There is a nobility in compassion, a beauty in empathy, a grace in forgiveness.” I think he’s right, letting go of the pain, allowing ourselves to move forward, strengthens our spirit and brings peace to our mind. I don’t want to be angry anymore, and living your life in fear of what could happen, is not really living.

I’ve decided instead to look to the future with hope. Hope that we can rebuild our friendship, hope that this person is remorseful, and genuine. Andy Dufresne, one the greatest literary and cinematic characters of our time once said, “hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”