Day 4 of Gratitude Project-
It should not be difficult to look at ones friends and to feel an overwhelming gratitude. For me that is certainly the case. Friendship isn’t a relationship that you can buy or force anyone to participate in, it is a connection over a shared experience that binds you to that other person in a positive way. I think that the right positive friendships in life can enhance your life. At this point, I have come to realize that all friends are not created equal, but all friendships are a valuable thing, and here are my thoughts on why.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Life is too short to go without laughter, and a good friend can usually bring about a laughing fit about almost anything. It doesn’t matter how long you have been friends, looking at life in a humorous way is going to allow your friendship to grow. I have always been drawn toward the people who can snicker at the day to day events we are faced with. If you can’t laugh about it then you are probably going to be spending a lot of time crying. Think about your friends and how many have been centered around laughter. I am having a hard time thinking of one person that I have enjoyed spending time with that didn’t involve laughter and joking of some kind. I am sure it is possible to be friends if you don’t laugh but it would seem to me a much more dour prospect.
Old Friends, Always Friends
I was blessed to grow up in a small town in Maine, where I went to school with the same group of kids until the seventh grade. The neat thing about these people, is that now almost forty years later when I run into one of these people, the time that has passed does not matter at all.
With some, it is as if no time has passed at all, the conversation is a bit different but the relationship is still the same as it was back in the old days. The shared experience of growing up like that apparently builds a bond that isn’t easily broken or forgotten.
I am grateful for these relationships because no matter what is happening in my life, those people know who you are and always accept you the way you are. I am grateful for these connections.
Some Come and Go and That is OK
In life, I think friendship is often like the tide, inevitably moving in and out. It has become a belief of mine, that people enter your life for a reason, most often to teach you something. Friendship is no different.
Maybe it is how to do something or how you look at things, but the more you allow people into your lives the greater your personal growth is. Unfortunately once the lesson is learned, these people often move out of your life.
This is OK, because you will have to grow, be open to new experiences and new lessons that friends yet unmet will teach you. The value of the old friends is not lessened by the fact that you have to move on for now. You can keep in touch and when you see each other later in life, you will always have that shared experience.
Since new friends are a great path to growth, you always have to be willing to greet and make new friends, which can be difficult. My advice is to take them wherever you can get them from. I have learned much more from the friends I have made over the past year than they could ever imagine.
Not everything in friendship is a bowl of cherries. Sometimes, there are people you are drawn to who initially are great, but after awhile you realize that all they do is talk about other people in a derogatory manner. Sometimes it is as blatant as making a comment as soon as someone is out of earshot.
If they are doing this, what do they say when you are out of earshot? Probably nothing good. I am grateful that I haven’t had to deal with too many of these, but the ones I did have to deal with, taught me a lot.
I think there are only two choices here, change the dynamic of the friendship or move away from it. The people that you choose to spend your time with will not only define you to the world but will impact how you feel and how you react in it.
Changing the dynamic is nearly impossible but give it a try. When something negative is said about somebody, immediately say something nice about them. I have done this twice and in both cases the person found reasons not to discuss other people with me again. Life is too short for negative thoughts and feelings, I am grateful to keep most negativity out of my life.
Thank You Friends
Friendship is one of the most important factors that makes this human experience worthwhile. There is something about sharing, thoughts, ideas, laughs or good times that is bonding to all of us. The educational experience, the work experience, the life experience, all of them are grounds for bonding through friendship and through friendship we are able to grow exponentially further than we could by ourselves. Isn’t that the basis for blogging? Putting your ideas out there and seeing if there are like minded people who can appreciate what you are thinking, feeling or doing?
Personally I am grateful for all of the friends that have entered my life, either for a season or a lifetime and I look forward to meeting those that come into my life in the future. Friends are the measuring stick of Your reality.