Just have to write before I get busy with my continuing to do list. I remember the song about “Looking for love in all the wrong places” I think this song could easily apply to friendships. Mary and I have held some heartfelt discussions regarding “friends” in her life. Lately, I have also had to step back and re-evaluate some friendships myself. Today, I have been reassured that real friends exist and reminded of how awesome that relationship can be. LOCATION: Many friendships are based on “location”. I think this was especially true for my daughter as her “friends” were friends at school. She had encounters with them everyday, talked about what happened the night before, and shared the daily gossip. However, friends by location can be detrimental because the choices may be limited and not necessarily a person I would choose as a friend if you were not in that location. It is also especially harmful when you have a disagreement because you share the location and can’t often escape/avoid that person. The same is true for adults, I suppose. Often friendships are established by the location of our jobs. I interact with them daily about work issues, talk about the boss, etc. But not likely the people I would want to have over to our homes or have more than a casual get together after work. I complain to them about our little annoyances in life, but they don’t really know who I am, what makes me tick, what makes me cry, etc.
CIRCUMSTANCE/SEASONAL: Then there are friends by circumstances. I have things in common with them through children or spouse or common interests/hobby. I get together with them to do the activity and again we share conversation about our kids, the activity, etc. They know me in THAT environment. Often these friends also become “Seasonal” friends where they are there for that particular time in your life, but as the season changes and circumstances change, you keep in touch, but the relationship is no longer the same. You just pray that if any secrets were said to them, that their friendship remains true and the secrets won’t be shared with the next “season’s” friend.
FAKE: I have also been “blessed” with friends who claim to be my friend, but generally for the purpose to use me. They are draining relationships because I keep giving more and more and get nothing in return. Or even worse I believe them to be my friend, only to discover things they have said about me, secrets they have revealed, etc. I can understand it in elementary school, I guess, but some people NEVER grow up. They just hold me back to lift themselves up. My daughter and I have discussed friends at detail. She has been burnt by “friend” betrayal. Has heard words spoken from a “friend” that should never be said even to an enemy. We have talked about it is the quality of the friend and not the quantity of the friends that matter. She has been blessed with two incredible friends, unfortunately, the one maybe moving for part of the year. The other friendship is going through some awkward moments and I guess time will tell if friendship will prevail. These are the friends that are the
UNCONDITIONAL kind. UNCONDITIONAL / PRICELESS: I have many friends (about 70 on facebook – lol). Some are circumstantial, some are by location, and unfortunately I a learning of some of the fake friends. But today, I spent the morning over a small breakfast picking back up. The kind of friend that though I make two of her in size, I never sat there and thought wonder what she thinks I look like. And though we are a little different situations in life (she with two grown children and me with two school age children), the conversation was never awkward or full of pauses. Though we can’t always sit down at a breakfast, I know with full confidence that I can send her a facebook message or call her and she will really keep me in her prayers! It is not a high maintenance friendship where we have to talk every day, but her facebook posts are always read because I want to know what is going on in her life. She, however, put up a new measuring stick for true friendship! Well, I have been doing this blog since January and have really poured out my heart and soul at times. And though, I truly started the blog as part of a spiritual journey for myself, it feels good to know they touch other people as well. I know those who follow as I often get messages (and again the purpose was NOT that so don’t feel obligated). But when she gave me my mug, I really wanted to cry! It truly touched me. She had read my blog and knew the love of my mug (Live Today with Passion) and also read my blog and knew that it was broken and I was upset. She found a mug identical to it. Now, every morning and evening when I have tea, I will think of our friendship and how priceless it is and will thank God for being so blessed! This mug I believe is even better than the one before because of the love behind it!
So I learned I need to prepare to EVALUATE FRIENDSHIPS (and how good of a friend am I). (in no particular order)
- Be the friend to them that I want them to be to me.
- Some friends are worth hanging onto and others are worth letting go.
- Friendship is a two way street – I can’t do all the taking nor all the giving.
- Be honest in the relationship. If I can’t trust my “friend” – they are not one!
- Take the time to maintain friendships – if they are valuable in my life, I WILL make time for them.
- Get to know my friends – follow their posts on facebook, read what they write – it may reveal something I can pray for, and let them know I saw it – through a card, a call, a message, etc.- and that I am there.
Real priceless friendships are hard to come by! I need to treat them as the treasures they are to me. Not wait for the rainy day when I need something to call them. Take a moment and remember them daily in prayer. And know the little things… a new tea mug can make all the difference!!!