Happy New Year!
We need a lot of things to survive. Food, water, shelter. We don’t typically consider friendship to be one of these essential things. But when life gets busy and something’s gotta give, it’s often our friendships that have to take the backseat. Our families, jobs, or even our latest fling come first. It is so easy to take friendship for granted, but it is one of the greatest gifts we get in life. I have had days where the only thing that kept me going were my friends.
But when life gets busy and something’s gotta give, it’s often our friendships that have to take the backseat.
To clarify, I am not referring to facebook ‘friends’ or TikTok followers. I am not denying that those things can be beneficial and enjoyable, but there is something undeniably special about when someone gives you the gift of a real-life, in person friendship. It means they are choosing you. They choose to have an affection for you, to be there for you. It is loyalty, a choice, a gift. But just as they are choosing you, you have to choose them. You have to develop it. You have to make the time.
There is something undeniably special about when someone gives you the gift of a real-life, in person friendship.
As someone who struggles with (and goes to lots of therapy for) wounds of abandonment, these kinds of friends are like my ohana, my family. They give me a sense of belonging and purpose. They have stood by me in my hard times in my fight with cancer, a break up, and the loss of loved ones. They have celebrated the wins of remission, job offers, and flourishing relationships. It is those friends that choose to stay with me--even when I screw up and fall flat on my face--who mean more than I can ever express.
The best friendships have molded me and developed my character. They've challenged me and pushed me.
Who would I be without my friendships? It’s hard for me to imagine it. The people who raised me did a great job of teaching me its importance. The best friendships have molded me and developed my character. They've challenged me and pushed me. They have made me a better person. I have gone through some heavy, dark times in my life and I can testify with certainty that I would not have been able to get through that darkness without the power of friendship. They are the secret to my awesomeness.
Spending time with my friends is not an indulgence when I happen to have spare time. It is how I take care of myself. Having good, strong friendships are just as important as diet and exercise. It deserves to be prioritized. This means that we should make a point to see, talk, and interact with people who matter. If we don’t put in the work, then they won’t be there down the road. I get it, life is hard. I hear you. But that is exactly why we need our friends. Life is too short for lazy and mediocre friendships. It doesn’t have to be every day, or even every week. But if you can’t remember when you last talked or who reached out first, then it's your turn. If you are thinking about them, let them know. If you appreciate them, tell them. It's the little things like a quick text that keep it going.
Having good, strong friendships are just as important as diet and exercise. It deserves to be prioritized.
On the other side of the coin, it is quite normal for there to be a change in friendships over the course of our life. That is totally okay! We go through changes when we move, get married, switch jobs. You can cycle through more than a few long standing friendships over the course of life. It is also okay to walk away from friendships that are not positive, healthy, or feel lopsided. You have to make the decision on which friendships you want to keep pouring yourself into and which ones have served their reason and their seasons.
Sharing our journey and our stories is meaningful. We want to go deeper than Xbox games and brunch dates.
Sharing our journey and our stories is meaningful. It’s part of why Krista and I started Friendship Explored. We want to go deeper than Xbox games and brunch dates. Real, authentic friendship calls us to go further. To look outside of ourselves and in another person's eyes and ask them how they are doing. Like, really. How are you doing? What is going on in your life? The impact and importance of friendship is right in front of us, hiding in plain sight. It begins by simply paying attention, making an effort to reach out, and constantly reminding them that you are there and are not going anywhere.
The impact and importance of friendship is right in front of us, hiding in plain sight.
In Friend Love,