I start my topic today by saying – I am back in action.   As I mentioned, I was embarking on a new journey.  And now that I have lived almost two months of it, I am ready to share my thoughts and feelings with you again.

Why am I writing today? It is because I have been inspired.  And I only write when I am inspired.

So without further introductions, let me get to my subject – Friendship ……

What is a friend? How many friends in your life are there for you no matter what? How many of you have long-lasting friendships? Do you recognize the difference between friends and acquaintances? And last but not least: Are you your own friend?

I start by describing a Friend in my eyes and in my experiences so far.  A friend, to me; is someone I trust with my inner thoughts and feelings, someone I can depend on when in need, someone I can be myself with without worrying how does he/she think of me, someone who is not hesitant to point out my faults as he/she is looking out for my best interest, someone who offers unconditional love, respect, loyalty, forgiveness, compassion and understanding, and above all, someone whom when you don’t speak to or see for a long time because of uncontrollable circumstances, time seems to have stopped, nothing have changed during that period of time, and you pick up where you left of.  For me, that is a true friend.  And I am so lucky and blessed to say that I have friends of this type as I just described.

As I am currently away from my hometown, I am missing my friends and my family.  I think of them all the time.  I look at some pictures and I remember the great times. And at the same time, I have also been blessed to find new friendships.  I am very grateful that I met wonderful people on this new journey I have started, and I continue to be reminded of the true meaning of friendship.  It’s a work in progress.  Every day it grows as we nourish it with our genuine feelings.

I have to admit that not every friend you will have in your life is a friend to stay for good.  As I mentioned in my post: Relationship Loss, some friends are there no matter what and some come and go.  We never really know which ones are which, so we give our hearts to the friendship and we just take it day by day –  what else can you do? It’s not like you can predict what will happen in the future.

On a general note, the friends that you will encounter in your life that stay for a very long time, are usually a scarce number.  That is when the statement: ‘It’s the quality, not the quantity’ start to make sense.  Some learn this lesson early on in life – like me – and some learn it a little later – and some just don’t learn it….. What can I say???

Having said that, I actually appreciate the fact that I may have a few TRUE friends in my life, rather than so many friends and no one to be there when I need them.  And by few I am not specifying a number because it varies from one person to the next.  It can mean literally two people for you and it can also mean ten for someone else.  Only you can judge the friendship, only you know what you get out of it – and remember as you expect – give back ….

So how do you know what type of friendship you have?

Well, I speak for myself again and I say, I know the depth of the friendship by the connection I share with the person – may it be male or female.  Number one for me is that ‘Action speaks louder than words’ – we have all heard that statement.  I try to live up to that statement the best way I can and yes I also expect the same in return.  Am I too demanding? I don’t feel that I am.  I just know that a flop sided friendship tends to break at some point in time – you can only be the strong party for so long – eventually you will need someone to lean on and if that person is unable to provide you with the support you need, you will have no choice but to turn elsewhere to get what you need.  And so the friendship starts to change.  It is not a give and take anymore – it’s either a give give give or a take take take – depends which side you are on.

I have experienced these types of friendships and I must say I was able to deal with it in a peaceful way.  First thing I needed to come to an understanding with myself that not  everyone is capable of giving me what I need.  Some will get me without having to say a word, some will understand when I express myself and some will do their best but they just do not have the knowledge they need to support me in my time of need and some are so consumed with themselves that they do not even make the effort to be the friend I was hoping they would be.

Second thing I needed to come to terms with is that not everyone will think like me, love like me, give like me.  I am ME, They are THEM.  It is not right for me to expect from anyone anything.  I can only accept the friendship in the way that is being given to me. Now whether it is enough for me or not, that is my issue, not theirs.

This brings me to my third realization and that is I decided to be the person that I am, no matter what I get in return.  When I feel that I am being used, it is my choice to walk away – no one is forcing me to stay in an unhealthy friendship.  Also if I feel that the other person is affecting me negatively, I also have the choice to walk away.  However, if I choose to remain in the friendship being fully aware of what I will be receiving from the other side and what I will not be receiving, then I must accept it silently without constantly making the other person feel bad about who they are or what they are not providing me with , because again, I made the choice to stay in that friendship – no one forced me to.

In conclusion, I will share with you the best secret ever: “Be your own best friend”.  Know yourself, know what you need, stand by your values, decide what is good for you and what is not, make decisions and live by them.  Yes, we all need someone to lean on, we all need a shoulder to cry on, we all need someone to be objective when we are not able to be, we all need to hear a soothing voice, to feel a gentle touch, but ultimately, we need to find the strength inside us to get over our troubles and heal our own wounds.  It is ‘YOU’ that you need the most in times of hardship.

Know who your friends are, know who will always be there no matter the distance or troubles you might face. Know the difference between someone you can have fun with and someone who is an extension of you – and mostly, know that “YOU ARE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND”.

Till I write again – take care of your friendships and yourselves.

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