Life Is Like A Tube Of Toothpaste 

This morning I wandered into the bathroom to brush my teeth (I may be 47 years old but I still posses an almost full set) to be faced with a dilemma. There was no toothpaste. Hold on. That last sentence wasn’t strictly accurate. There were (because I counted them) a total of ten tubes of toothpaste in the bathroom drawer. However all ten had been opened, used and then deposited back in the drawer without the cap having been put back on them.


And no matter how much I frantically squeezed each tube it’s contents had hardened to the extent  that I could not extract a pea sized amount. This is all the more bewildering when you consider our three beloved hatchlings appear to have a shared allergy to all things hygienic – soap, shampoo, toothpaste. Their expressions when faced with any of the above are akin to serving up a plate of garlic bread to Dracula.

After much muttering and digging into the deepest depths of the drawer I managed to find an unmolested 11th tube so my much needed beauty regimen was allowed to proceed to the tooth cleaning stage. Tempted as I was to calculate how much ten tubes of Colgate toothpaste cost (nice product placement Stephen) and then deduct it from their pocket money (used in the loosest possible term as they invariably have more money than me) I bit my tongue, sighed and put it down to another joyful episode in my parenting journey.

I have blogged a little of late about how many friendships I have lost in the last year due to various matters. Some have ended amicably  due to people moving on for one reason or another; others have been due to failings on my part; but some have left me feeling bitter and resentful. I know this is behaviour unbecoming of an aspiring Christian blogger but that’s how I have felt. Bruised, battered and betrayed.

The one thing you can trust on in life is that some people cannot be trusted. They abuse friendship. It is a one-way arrangement. They are the people who never text first, who rarely return your calls and tend to keep you on the long arm. Sometimes it is unintentional but, if anything, that hurts even more. They just don’t care that much. On tbe radar of their lives you are a distant blip, while on yours they beat a constant rhythm in the middle of your screen.

True friendships are loving, mutually inclusive and life affirming. False friendships are toxic, imbalanced and built on foundations of indifference and self. Too many times, one party gets what they need to feed their ravenous ego and then moves on without a backward glance. Leaving the other one in their wake to pick up the pieces. 

Just like an opened tube of toothpaste where the contents have been squeezed out and the cap not placed back on. Violated and empty inside. All that remains of the soft interior has been hardened by anger, resentment and unforgiveness. Utterly useless. Lying in a dark drawer somewhere waiting for the inevitable consignment to tbe rubbish bin.

People let you down. Fact. If you feel that you are currently on the thin wedge of such a relationship my prayer is that you take care of yourself first and foremost to ensure that you do not end up squeezed out all over the bathroom floor of life. And if that means snapping the cap of your heart closed and taking a step back from that friendship then so be it. Sometimes you have take a step back in order to ultimately move forward.

I’m leaning on God to steer me through this ‘friendless’ season of my life. I hope that he will place new friends in my life to inspire me and propel me forward. He has great plans for me. And any great plan involves other people. God wants us to live our lives in community and not in isolation. Jesus surrounded himself with his disciples. David surrounded himself with his mighty men. And Paul has a supporting cast of hundreds. 

Fellowship is at the heart of the Christian life. We cannot, nor are we expected to, do it on our own. God always provides whatever our needs – and that includes true friends. So don’t sell yourself short or allow yourself to be drained dry by unhealthy friendships. Take your time and pray into these matters until you are certain you can pop the cap open on your life and allow others access to it. People who will enrich your heart, not harden or poison it. 

Isaiah 2:22 – ‘Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem?’

Have you had toothpaste issues recently?

Have you had to walk away from friendships where you have felt used and abused?

How did this make you feel and how did you deal with it? 

11 thoughts on “Life Is Like A Tube Of Toothpaste 

Add yours

  1. Love the analogy between friendship and toothpaste. I’ve also lost many friendships at the time I could not understand but, God allowed me to see that separation was very necessary for growth. He has also opened the door for divine connections. Great post

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautifully written, thank you. I understand. Since losing my child, I have learned many hard lessons about friendship. For example, the duration of the relationship means nothing. It is the depth that counts. I worked with “friends” for over 18 years, only to learn they were just people I worked with – not friends at all. Christians are human and we have feelings too. Thank you for a very helpful analogy, helping me walk through some issues.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A wonderful post, I hear you. After a lonely spell and the period of self reflection and understanding I have been sent the most beautiful people into my life – slowly but surely.
    I am so happy to follow you on your journey. Keep writing 😊

    Like

  4. I agree. I feel that like how the toothpaste hardens over time, so does our anger, resentment, regrets, guilt and so much more that we close ourselves off to the beauty of the other side of your situation or anger.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. There have been three friendships I have terminated over the years. God pushed me with each one, and reminded me, “Not to throw my pearls to swine.” I wasn’t appreciated, taken advantage of for being a listening ear, and wrong when I tried to be open about my feelings. But God healed my heart, and used the experiences to prepare me for later ones, and reach others. : ) May God continue to give you understand and healing.

    Like

      1. No problem! Sometimes I have to pick individual bloggers to catch up on when I’ve not been able to read. And I know I’ve not been able to stay up to date with yours. You both and your family have all of my support : )

        Liked by 1 person

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