The Faces of True Friendship

Relationships make life worth living. And of course relationships take on all forms: romantic, parental, siblings, friends, colleagues, neighbors, etc. One of the strongest foundational types of relationships lies with friendships. When times get tough and often when there are problems with the other types of relationships, a person often looks to a friend for help and kindness.

I have been pondering friends a lot lately. My late husband’s one-year death anniversary recently passed and at the same time two other personal events happened that caused me much sadness and distress. So much pain was hitting me at the same time that I couldn’t handle it alone as I so often have attempted to do in the past. And so I did the obvious – I turned to my friends for help.

Friends come in all varieties and we certainly need them all. There is the long-term friend who knows you better than you know yourself sometimes. She is the one with the history, the one who understands your values and your core. She has seen you mature, grow, and develop over years. Then there is the sassy friend – the one who says what you wish you could say. The one who cusses when you should. The one who says it like it is. Another valuable friend is the spiritual one – she is the one who keeps you grounded, who reminds you of what is important – the one who calls you to be a better person and see things from a different perspective. The fourth type is the nurturing friend – the one who lets you cry on her shoulder, pats your back and tells you it will all be alright, and the one that will listen to you for hours even though she has heard the same story many, many, many times already. The sisterly friend is that person who is the straight shooter – she sees through it all and after listening to you, gives you the advice you know is true but you don’t really want to hear it. She is the “tough love” friend. Finally there is the considerate friend. This is the friend that invites you to Christmas dinner when she knows you will be alone. She is the one who sends you a Starbucks gift card and a nice note to remind you to hang in there.

One friend may have several of these qualities and another friend only one. Regardless, the personalities, the values, and the gifts these friends offer are unique and to be valued. When I consider how I would have survived the last couple of months without these friends, I realize that I would still be sinking without their kindness. A friend is such a gift and not to be forgotten when we are considering our days and what and whom to be grateful for.

So for all my beautiful and wonderful friends, thank you for your presence in my life. I am truly grateful!

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