What About Your Friends?!
Hey y'all!!!!! Sorry for taking so long to post. Life has been coming at me like a semi with no breaks. Ya girl is definitely T-I-Red! But I had to write something for y'all. I might have to cut back to bi-weekly if my work flow doesn't slow down soon though, which doesn't look likely. But for now, I'm gonna try to have two out this week. Just don't hold me to it, if I can't.
According to dictionary.com, a friend is: 1A person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard, 2A person who gives assistance; patron; supporter, 3A person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile, 4A member of the same nation, party, etc., Friend, 5A member of the Society of Friends; a Quaker, 6A person associated with another as a contact on a social media website.
There seems to be a lot of context in describing what a friend is. Some are more personal than others. Just because we're apart of the same country, I'm supposed to be friends with all these people out here? Hahahahaha! I think not! There are too many people who can't be trusted or don't support (as definition 2 states) for that to be true. Now, of course everyone has their own definition of what they feel a friend is. I would align myself more so with a mix of options 1, 2, 3, and 6. And then there are those people who think others are their friends when it's really just an association with them. Just because there is no malice between us doesn't mean we're friends. Knowing each other through mutual friends does NOT automatically make us friends. Remember that!
Friends are Important
I guess the reason I'm so hardcore on who is and isn't a friend of mine is because of the friendship issues I've had for years. I am an introvert and I care about the people I purposely surround myself with. I'm much like definition number 1. When I decide to let you in, there are feelings involved there. In some way, shape or fashion I've begun to trust you and care about your well-being. Once you show that you are not worthy of that affection or trust, it's a very painful thing for me. And I've had that happen to me too many times. The funny thing is, even with the people I am closest with now, there have been some trust or emotional barriers built and torn down over time. In the end, even when one or more of us have attempted to end the friendship, our bond was brought back together. Those are the ones I consider family. So, in actuality, the ladies I consider my best friends are more like sisters to me; my chosen family.
But how many of you know, just like any other relationship (husband/wife, parent/child, siblings, etc.), communication and accountability are essential to that association. If we aren't able to interact (converse, reach out, connect) with one another or be there for each other, in the good and bad times of our lives, what is the friendship for? Now, I'm not saying, EVERY time you and your significant other get into it or you and your child are bumping heads, you have to runteldat. But the major stuff... That's when I feel you find out who you really have in your corner. I'll give you an example.
September 25, 2016 was, what I call now, the day of my rebirth. It was a typical Sunday and I was in the process of planning my mother's 50th birthday party the next week. As a matter of fact, my aunt and I were supposed to go shopping to buy the bulk of the things we needed for the shindig after I went to church and did some work around the house. We never made it shopping. Instead, before the sun was even down good, I was being admitted into the hospital. I found out two days later that I'd had a stroke.
Over the span of 5 days and between being poked and prodded on, I had visitors from the usual: My parents, aunts & uncles, cousins, along with both the pastor and the assistant pastor from my church. My siblings don't live nearby but all of them called to check on me. Can you say heart on full? But I will say, throughout the whole healing process, there were a lot more people that were there for me than expected. My best friends... I kind of expected them to be there or at least call. And what do you know, they came through for me. Between the hospital visits, taking care of my dog, and cooking for me when I got home, driving me because they were afraid for me to do it on my own... I must say that I am truly blessed. The people who came through that didn't HAVE to be there: people I've become close to through social outings, co-workers, my mother's old co-workers, those were the ones that shocked me. All it took was one post from someone else on social media (because I hadn't told much of anyone) and the love came from just about EVERYWHERE. And within a week of me being home, my supervisor and team from work sent me get well flowers. VERY unexpected.
I'm telling all of this to show that when it comes to the major moments of your life, we must ask ourselves, do we have those type of people to depend on. Do you have someone to pray over you? Hold your hand? Make sure you are fed? Holding you accountable when it comes to your health, personal, or professional goals? Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But the bigger question is, are you willing to do that for someone else?
Count on Me
We cannot ask or expect someone to do things for us that we are not at least willing to do for others. We are living in a selfish time of, "it's all about me" and "ain't nobody got time for that". I'm grateful that, at the least, I know I have people that will be there for me in my time of need. Even more so, I am happy when I am able to extend that to others. As a matter of fact, my friend and I finished the 28-day devotional I told you all about in the Accountabilityblog post and on Week 4/Day 4, they had a challenge to think of 2 friends and discuss what they're REALLY great at, then text them telling them how great you think they are. She used me as one of her people and stated that I was great at holding my friends accountable, listening to them and ensuring they try to stick to their goals. Although, I feel the sentiments are mutual, because she does the same for me, it almost brought tears to my eyes that she appreciated it so much. I also told our other friends about it and they all agreed that I do the same for them and that it helps them stay on task.
We've been there for each other through baby showers, weddings, broken relationships, health issues, deaths in the family, and so much more. Literally, the good, the bad, and the ugly (cries). Over the years, I have tried to be the same friend that I wish to have from other people. It does my heart good to know my efforts are accepted and are not irritating. Not everyone has given of themselves in the same manner to me as I have for them and it was hurtful to watch friendships fade as if they never were. But that's part of growing pains, right? My mother told me a long time ago that people are in different categories in your life: reason, season, or lifetime. Not all of the people you feel are your best friends are going to be your best friends forever. And one of my sisters from another mister also gave this explanation about an associate of hers: Some people will consider you their best friend even when you don't consider them your best friend. That spoke volumes to me.
Not everyone is meant to be friends. Even so, compassion, a good heart, and decent humanity goes a long way. And one last thing before I go. Remember this proverb:
So be the friend to others that you want to have. Or at least do your part and be friendly to others. I pray that you have those type of people in your life as well. Be good to one another. And until next time, PEACE!!!!!!!!