Friends…the ebb and flow.

Friendships are so important to your mental health and physical wellness.

Through our lives our friends come and go.  Some friends will stay in your life forever.  Others will come into, stay a while, and leave your life as your path and their path alters.  There are others that remain friends forever but you rarely see them.  When you do get together with them it is like you were never apart.  The conversation just starts back up where it left off….and that is special.

Then there are people in your life who are “toxic”.  They have the ability to take you away from your true self.  You may do things with them that you would never think of doing with anyone else.  You realize that these acquaintances do not fulfill your true needs for companionship.  Some examples of toxic characteristics in people you may want to reconsider calling a friend are the following;

1.  Phony – trying to be someone they are not.

2.  Gossipy – loves to talk about you when you are not around.

3.  Self-centered – Concerned with her own wants and needs and not yours.  They can never give you a compliment about anything.

4.  Competitor – They want everything that you have.

5.  Arrogant – Think they are better.

6.  Envious – Jealous of what you have rather than happy for you.

7.  Imitator – Like to copycat everything about you.  No individuality.

8.  Drama Queen – Always trying to “one-up” you.

Toxic relationships can drain the life right out of you.  They can stress you out and even contribute to illness.

Friendships are so important to every facet of your life from work, community, family and health.  Be careful and wise about who you choose to spend your time with.

I believe that people are brought to us for reasons…. to teach, to support, to nuture, to listen, to fulfill a need in that time and space.  There are so many different reasons why we buddy up with people.  You know when the relationship you have with someone is based on truth, loyalty, integrity,  non-judgement,  no jealousy and is with sincere care and concern.

Finding a true friend is a great FIND.  You may have plenty of friendships or acquaintances around you often but only a few are sincere, true relationships.   You know who those special people are.  You feel at ease with them.  True friends give you freedom to be yourself.  As Oscar Wilde said “True friends stab you in the front“.

FROM STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY

Friendship, as understood here, is a distinctively personal relationship that is grounded in a concern on the part of each friend for the welfare of the other, for the other’s sake, and that involves some degree of intimacy. As such, friendship is undoubtedly central to our lives, in part because the special concern we have for our friends must have a place within a broader set of concerns, including moral concerns, and in part because our friends can help shape who we are as persons. Given this centrality, important questions arise concerning the justification of friendship and, in this context, whether it is permissible to “trade up” when someone new comes along, as well as concerning the possibility of reconciling the demands of friendship with the demands of morality in cases in which the two seem to conflict.

Some great quotes from some great people past and present regarding friendship that I can relate to are:

Oprah Winfrey wrote :

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down!

Albert Camus wrote:

Don`t walk behind me; I may not lead.  Don`t walk in front of me; I may not follow.  Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Aristotle wrote:

A friend to all is a friend to none.

Henri Nouwen wrote:

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm tender hand.

As we get older and more sure of who we are, we understand better what we want to do with our precious time and where we want to be. The friendships we maintain tend to reflect our priorities, morals, goals and ethics.

I have some wonderful friends, some going on many years, others relatively new.  I value each and every one of my friends.

To my friends….I love and cherish you.

 

 

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