Happy Sunday all
Acquiring friends and developing lasting friendships are perhaps two of the most emotionally satisfying things we create in our lives. As we journey through life, learning and developing, it’s our friends that are the marrow in our bones, feeding us, supporting us, keeping us strong so we become all that we could ever imagine.
- See the vision for who we could be before we are able to recognise it in ourselves.
- Drop everything to be by our side at the slightest hint of upset or trouble.
- Love us through the hard times
- Are loyal to us
- Are not afraid to tell us we’re wrong
- Believe in us
- Make us laugh
- Know when to leave us alone
- Respect us
- Always want the best for us
- Celebrate our successes
- Trust us
- Our friends Love us
For exactly who we are…
Excuses, Excuses, Excuses…
Yet, I’m sure many of you reading this now, have a friend or two maybe, that you’ve let disappear from your lives. I’m sure most of us have at least one friend that we wish we’d kept in touch with? Perhaps your excuse was the distance, or they’ve changed or we no longer have the same things in common.
What ever the excuse, that’s just what it is; an excuse!
The regret, that comes in at number four (on our list of five) when we find ourselves at the point of leaving this earthly plane is:
“I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends…”
My mother always said: “you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.”
Meaning, that your friends are the family YOU create.
They display the behaviours, talents and attitudes you would prefer to see in your life and in the world.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case with family.
Are we not here to self-create?
Are we not here to live lives that are an ‘authentic’ expressions of who we ‘choose’ to be?
So, if a family member is making choices and creating a life imbued with attitudes and behaviours that we refute, are we not entitled to keep them at arm’s length, as we would anyone else whose values we do not share?
However I digress. Back to friendship.
Love yourself first
When it comes to friendships, I can say wholeheartedly, I have learnt that they will never be satisfying unless you are friends with YOURSELF first. I’ll give you an example:
Let’s say you’ve something you want to bring into your life. Your friend has been supportive in your attempts to achieve/acquire this quality or gift, they believe in you and think you deserve the best that life has to offer and they tell you this often. Yet somehow you are not able to attain what it is you’re striving for.
Is the inability to feel deserving the issue?
Are you being as good a friend to yourself as your friend is to you and you are to them?
In order to accept the beauty inherent in our friendships, we need to be able to accept the beauty within ourselves. See yourself through your friends eyes.
Those that know me know one of my mottos is:
‘Like attracts like…’
So try to ignore the doubting voice within, the negative tape on a loop that endlessly plays through your list of ‘could be betters.’
Accept that the wonderful qualities you see in your friends are a mirror of the qualities, and the beauty, captured within the soul in YOU.
Be willing to receive
Practise being a good friend, by being a friend to yourself first.
Be willing to give to yourself.
Be willing to receive.
If you cannot display the qualities of friendship that you appreciate in others in your own reflections of yourself then, regardless of how many friends you have, life will feel lonely and you will always find a reason to justify the non-appearance of whatever it is you’re looking for in life.
Be the friend you want to see
Being a friend means you swear an oath. An oath to be someone your friend can trust. It means keeping your word and being there when you say you will. The best way to have and keep good friends is to be one.
Keep your promises.
We all know that there are times when things show up, when you have to change a plan, but you need to be dependable. No-one likes a flake! If ‘ducking out’ and ‘letting down’ become regular habits, your friend is unable to depend on you. You are a ‘fair weather friend.’ there when times are good, but noticeably absent when they need you most. Being this way means you are eroding their trust and eventually they’ll stop believing what you say.
Being honest about how you feel opens up direct lines of communication with your friends and will make them more likely to open up to you. If your friend has upset you in some way, don’t feel too shy to open up to your friend about it.
Being honest is not about being brutal and so blunt that you hurt them. If you think your friend has a problem for example, perhaps drink or any other problem which has the potential to destroy their lives, then you owe it to your friend to start a conversation about it.
But if you think your friend looks kind of weird in her new dress, assess the situation, you know your friend and in this instance you may want to keep your mouth shut. Especially if s/he feels they look amazing.
Why not leave them with that feeling and not shoot them down dampening their spirit?
Connect with the people you value on a deep level if you want to have long-term friendships that you can sustain through life’s ups and downs. Invest in people you can be yourself around. If the way you behave is insincere, your friendships won’t last.
If your friend tells you something in confidence, keep it and don’t talk about it with anyone else, just as you’d expect your friend to do for you. Never say anything about your friend that you would not be prepared to say to them face-to-face and be ready to defend them if other friends or people you barely know, gossip about them.
- Part of being loyal is understanding how important a long-lasting and stable friendship is. Don’t throw all that away just to spend all your time hanging out with your new boyfriend or girlfriend or a cool new person you just met.
Being selfless is an important part of being a good friend. Though you can’t be selfless all the time accommodating your friend’s wishes when you can, will strengthen you relationship. Reciprocate his or her acts of kindness with caring deeds of your own.
- Do a favour for your friend just out of the goodness of your heart, not because you want something in return.
I’m sure you’re getting the picture. There are many more things I could say about friendships and how to foster secure heartfelt ones as well as how to maintain them. However, this post would become impossibly long if I continued.
That rare gift
Suffice to say, that our friendships are our lifeblood, so it’s no surprise that the loss of our friends, especially when we know we could have done more to stay in touch, features high as one of our biggest regrets when we depart.
“Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.”
So, let’s heed the wise words of Anaïs.