Wednesday, October 26, 2011

FRIENDSHIP

"Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble."
~Proverbs 17:17, The Message

I have always been a bit of a loner. I cherish my alone time, because it allows me to engage in activities I enjoy...reading, writing, praying, and puttering around my home. As a child, I was pretty shy. My siblings were older, and there weren't many kids in our neighborhood. Perhaps this is why I am so comfortable in my solitude.

But I am realizing that my self-imposed isolation isn't all that healthy for me. It's time to seek balance. It's time to nurture my friendships, and branch out to make new ones. But this doesn't come easily to me. I have so much to learn!

I begin by studying the art of friendship, because I do believe it is an art. Some seem born talented in this area. Others, like me, have to work at it more, and push ourselves out of our comfort zones.

"If you want good friends, be a good friend." I don't know who said that, but even I can see the sage message here. It's time to take a close look at what it means to be a really good friend.

When I think of a good friend, I visualize someone who is there for you...wanting your best...rooting for you...encouraging and challenging you...watching out for you...offering sound advice when it's appropriate. It's someone you can laugh with, cry with, vent with, be silent with. A good friend does you good, not harm. You know your secrets are safe. A good friend isn't an enabler ~ she'll tell you when you're taking a wrong path. A good friend is thoughtful and eager to celebrate your victories and special moments. She is there to help when you need it, and doesn't ask for anything in return. A good friend is quick to forgive, and never holds grudges. A good friend overlooks your quirks and brings to light your best qualities. She sees your potential and encourages you to go for your dreams. A good friend loves unconditionally through thick and thin.

This is the friend I want to be!

"A friend is one of the nicest things you have, and one of the best things you can be."
~Douglas Pagels 

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