Greetings dear friends and my apologies for the long hiatus. Life has been a whirlwind of travel and fun (more on that at a future date) but I am officially back.
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about friendship these days; specifically what makes it tick and what makes it last. Three things come to mind.
1. Reciprocity: Yes, much like a marriage, friendships are a two way street. We can’t expect to ask for something and not give it in return. This came to mind of late after a request from a dear friend to stay more in touch. When she asked for that, not only did I feel awful for being so absent but I resolved to do better. So I embarked on a plan of staying more in touch even if it was just by text. But guess what, calls/texts/emails were sent and not much more than a peep back. No two way street there. Ouch, Ouch, OUCH! This not only has served as a vivid reminder of why I hadn’t been more in touch, is also a reminder that I too can do better at behaving in a reciprocal fashion.
2. Not a transaction: Many people mistake friendship for a transaction. I guess that underlying thought is “What can I get from this person”. This “transaction” can take many forms: money, status, gifts, time and even one’s heart strings. If you have ever been on the receiving end of one of these friendships, you know how rewarding it is. (Not!) . Friendships like that may tick for a while but they don’t last.
3. It’s Fragile:Oh the things I wish I could take back when said out of fear . (Forget anger; anger is merely a “cover” emotion for fear). Now when I am tempted to lash out in anger, I take 3 breaths and ask myself what I am so afraid of . Try it, it’s life changing.
So what’s all this got to do with getting unstuck? Well, C.S. Lewis once said: “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival.” And it’s often our friends who help get us unstuck. And that makes the effort to be the best friend you can be, totally worth it.