Loving Friendships –
What does it mean to have the love of friends?
My dad always told me that if you could count the real friends in your life on one hand, you were very fortunate. After checking some quotes, apparently the father of Lee Iacocca and my grandfather must have run in some of the same circles because my dad told me this long before Lee Iacocca became a household name.
These days we have Facebook friends, fan pages, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter and You Tube subscribers and when you have been part of any large social network, you tend to acquire many “friends”. After checking I found I have 444 friends on a forum I’ve been on for many years. I’m sure that since some of the invitations were some ten years ago, they may not even remember me now. Interestingly enough, out of these social network acquaintances, I have been blessed with some very dear friends that I would have never otherwise crossed paths.
I don’t think an article about friends would be complete without the piece written by Jean Dominique Martin. This is what she said:
“When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.”
Sometimes they die, or fade into anonymity. Sometimes circumstances dictate that they go in another direction leaving you to wonder; sometimes they walk away, uncaring and unwilling. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand, hoping that enmity hasn’t reared its ugly head. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. Reasons can go against you…but when it does, all you can do is assess it for what it’s worth, monitor subsequent correspondences, make your decision and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON. They may only be there for a short period of time based on premeditated agendas; they may have motives that are not condoned by you, or because your turn has come to share with them in growing or learning new initiatives for the future. If all things are good, they may bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may introduce you to new routines and techniques that you have never experienced.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season — they move on. Seasonal tidings with this situation usually deal with those that are going through changes, can’t cope with certain situations that cause them to step outside of comfort zones, or are unwilling to take chances. Other seasonal fold readily recognizes their own kind, and will not hesitate to cut you loose.
LIFETIME relationships are harder to recognize for the moment, but with time can be the best choice you can make. But how many people do you know are willing to persevere for the long haul? Find one and I guarantee you will have him or her as someone trustworthy.
Life timers teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. They accept you for what you are, do not prematurely judge you, do not have any inhibitions about taking chances for the betterment of the relationship, and surely feel that compatibility is something that is assessed as you go, not at the spur of the moment. They don’t adhere to conditions and will be there during the zero hour. There’s GOT to be something that you can learn from this type of person. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
I thank all the people I’ve met in my lifetime who have lent me their ears, allowed me to belong, gave me love and let me love them back. I’m all the better because somewhere, somehow, and someone have given me hope that friendship is not fleeting, integrity is intrusive, and that good intent coupled with works can be a true embodiment of camaraderie for as long as it is deemed necessary to embrace a true friend! And for those that I’ve called a friend at some point in my life, you will always be one…but know that you will not be forgotten.
One of the “life timers” Jean Dominique Martin speaks of is my best friend Sheila of over 30 years. She paid me one of the greatest compliments possible about our friendship since I spent a good bit of 30 years as a morbidly obese person and I was always concerned with feeling “less than”. It has only been in the last nearly 9 years that I successfully shed the weight and kept it off but Sheila told me that no matter what size I was that I was “just Yvonne”. As nearly as impossible as it was for me to believe, she didn’t see me as a “size”. Previously I had depended on my pets whom I love more than I should admit but they offer love that sees no size, no prejudice of any kind…. pure love that knows no boundaries. My next best friend came in the form of my husband Kevin who came along just when I needed him because I had lost my mom to cancer and she gave me that unconditional love that seems so elusive for most. I swear I think she arranged for him to come into my life in order to take care of me and give me that same love.
The proof of true love of friends (the life timers) is both friends are superstars…neither one of you is a sidekick. People in my life that I trust know it because I’ve told them and it is not a comment I make lightly. Sometimes you think you have a friend and one day you realize that you are the one doing all the work….a painful way to find out you are not the friends you thought you were but better to know than to keep pouring effort into a black hole. Sheila and I can be apart for a week or a month and the moment we come together the separation disappears….as if we never missed a moment. For Sheila’s birthday this year she invited five of her closest friends and she devised a game. She recorded music that meant something to each of us and when “our song” came on we had to guess if it was the song that related to both Sheila and I in some part of our lives. Mugs were passed out with cartoon pictures of women with our names under each and the title “The gathering of the goddesses”. That mug will forever be one of my most beloved possessions.
Knowing that no matter what you do or don’t do, a life timer will always be at your side and the trust that I don’t give easily is an absolute given in this relationship. My dad also said that you were as rich as the amount of friends you have and I am indeed wealthy and fortunate that even my husband is a life timer. So, who do you trust as much as they trust you? Who are you there for and who is there for you no matter what? If you ask what does the love of friends mean to me, it is all of the above. It is what Albert Carnus said: “Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
“My father always used to say that when you die, if you’ve got five real friends, then you’ve had a great life.”
~ Lee Iacocca (and my grandfather)