Foundations for Friendship

Who is a true friend? What does it take to maintain friendships? Whom do you want as your friends?

These are, or should be, some of the questions we ask ourselves to really know who our friends are.

We often experience life with many people around us. We choose certain ones to enter into our lives more deeply than others in order to share our thoughts and experiences with. However, do we understand the importance of choosing our friends wisely? The implications of not doing so can be devastating.

Who amongst us hasn’t had to share in at least one friend’s drama, whether with their family or mutual acquaintances? How did you handle those experiences? Were you able to be the confidant they needed with love and compassion? Did you find yourself saying “You just have to get over it?” What positive influence were they able to receive from being your friend and dealing with difficult situations?

Life is filled with ups and downs. The more emotional a situation is, the more complicated and thorny can be the decision process one engages to rightly decide which avenue to venture. A strong foundation of friendship is imperative before offering advice or asking for it.

What are the boundaries within the friendship? How have previous circumstances dictated what is said or done this time? Is there unresolved hurt, or does an uneasiness currently exist which may preclude any intimate discussions? What is the depth of understanding between two friends? Is there trust established that can be relied on under any conditions?

One thing to always remember, there is absolutely no one in this life incapable of letting us down. As pessimistic as that may sound, it is true. As foreign as that may be to some, the reality still exists. Although they never intended to do so and would swear it could never occur, it can.

Friendships can and should be wonderful times shared between individuals. Sometimes they can be lifelong and other times merely for a season. Bonds that become created need to maintain a healthy balance of mutual respect and admiration.

Deeper friendships usually contain love and appreciation with a sense of wonder and greater veneration. Allowing oneself to become a part of something such as friendship is an honor and should never be taken for granted or abused. The hurt, pain and sometimes lifelong consequences that unfortunately remain with persons who have opened themselves to friendship, without consideration with whom they are doing so, can leave scars that take time and much assistance in order to heal.

So do yourself a favor… Know your friends! And, furthermore, get to know them better.

Make it an adventure to consider the characteristics of those whom you consider to be friends. Think first, then decide and choose those with whom you can really believe yourself to be a friend!