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Discover what friendship means

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There are times in life when we think the people we spend time with and have included in our confidence are our friends. Yet, it is the times when the bottom falls out of our life that we discover who is truly there for us. We are shown who can be counted on to see us through difficult times. Let’s consider what friendship really means.  It is someone who accepts your faults and weaknesses realistically; yet, they also know how to draw forth your strength by the faith they have in you. Have you ever felt there was no one there in a crisis, and then the phone rings with a familiar voice reaching out? It is as if they are on some unconscious wave length and just tune in to your need without having to be asked.

The communication in this kind of friendship is based on safety. Although you may each feel free to let your true emotions out and be in disagreement, or even in discord from time to time, you never feel attacked. There is never a desire to hurt one another or just get even for a slight. You seem drawn back together over and over, even when you spend time apart. Actually years, time and space may divide you physically, but the bond remains intact. It is though you can start right where you left off and enjoy the same open connections verbally and emotionally in a matter of minutes. That is because you never really left one another. You understand and don’t even need the quality of forgiveness.

To forgive someone, you have to have been at odds and offended by who they are or what they have done. When friendship runs deep, there is always the ability to look beyond the behavior and know the honorable intention. There is a quality that says, “This happened and it just is what it is.” 

You look beneath to the love instead of the stress provoked action or thoughtless words. A true friend comes around eventually no matter how much has happened and builds bridges to repair any damage done. It is important to introspect and question if those you are giving a part of yourself and a part of your life experiences are really your friends.

Hopefully the mate you have chosen in life is a true friend and you can trust him or her to be there through thick and thin. That is what many traditional wedding ceremonies claim in the vows: “For better or worse……. In sickness and in health, till death do us part.” As a licensed minister, I have performed ceremonies for couples of all ages in all types of settings. Respect for one another’s needs and feelings is the one thing I find in common in the relationships I feel have what it takes to make it through the tough times.  As their life together unfolds, empathy is the key to longevity. Caring about what is important to the other person as much as you care about your own needs is a demonstration of true friendship and integrity.

I was in a premarital consultation with a couple named Bob and Mary. I advised them that the best way to keep their relationship as exciting and committed as it was at the time was to base their communication on friendship and to only say the things daily they would have said to one another other when they first met. If you are both honorable in your treatment of yourself and each another, the friendship will thrive and weather the occasional storms life may bring. This fact holds true in all relationships: Unconditional love encircles those you call “My Friend”….those you know can be counted on to stand up for you no matter what. My wish for everyone is that you have just such a person in your life and that you value it above all else.

Patrice Joy Masterson, MA is a Healthy Living Consultant. She offers personalized and group enhancement and holistic programs at the Harmonizing Health Retreat in Bedford, KY. For more information call 937-631-5581 or go online to www.harmonizinghealthretreat.com.