“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”
How many of us can say that we have real friends in our life today? You know who a true friend is in your time of need, because a real friend will stick by you regardless of whether you are happy or sad, rich or poor. A friend is someone who is really there for you during your ups and downs in life, and real friends have a relationship of equality and trust.
What is the difference between a friend and an acquaintance? An acquaintance may be someone that you know, or who you think that you know, but who does not really have any emotional investment in your relationship. Sometimes these people are known as “fair weather friends”, those who are only there for the good times, but at times of trouble they are out the door! They can walk away at any time for any reason and would not look back.
“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
Let’s see what are some of the signs of being a true friend? This is something that everyone can all do. How much could you call yourself such a good friend even to yourself? How many people are there in your life that you can call a “true friend”? How many of those souls would call you a good friend too?
Maybe you could say that the ingredients of a true friendship would have the qualities of open communication, honesty and love. Where you want the best for the other soul and their well-being, and where you can see beyond the current weakness or issues. Such a friend would be a great treasure to have in your life. They would be concerned about your welfare, and they would not want to see you suffer, always having your best interests at heart.
“No person is your friend who demands your silence,
or denies your right to grow.”
A good friend will give you space and time; they would be good listeners; and would offer sound advice without judgement. They will accept you as you are, with your strengths and your weakness and they will love you regardless, and despite your shortcomings! They will not reject you or want to change you, but would encourage you towards growth, and for sure because your communication is open and honest you will be able to better manage your expectations of both yourself and one another.
“The language of friendship is not words but meanings.”
Henry David Thoreau
True friendship can withstand a dose of honest feedback. Then you will not object to that feedback because it would be given with love. If you are in an ego-mind state you will not see the good intentions behind any sharing, and you may go into an ego fight back mode. When you do not have a strong and mature friendship… that could be the last you see of that friend! A wise friend will recognize that you are just not in a “good space” at the moment and will not judge you, they will know you are simply “going through your stuff.”
With a real friend you do not need to do a lot of explaining and justifying because they understand you. Your relationship is solid and personal, having been often tried and tested like steel. You know that they will be there for you in those trying times, and that they will not put you down, because they want to uplift you. There is no jealousy in your relationship, but there is mutual respect and understanding. A good friend will be someone who knows your personal business but will not broadcast it to the world!! These are the signs of a true friend, someone who will not gossip and splatter your private life all over the place. Such a blessing today with social media!
“Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them.
But you know they’re always there.”
Such a friend is open-hearted and your well-wisher, they will tell you “straight and how it is.” This is someone who will tell you the truth in a kind and gentle way, hopefully, because they want to protect you from making bad choices that you will regret later. If you were on the wrong track, wouldn’t you like to know before you expend too much time and energy having to do a U-turn?
You can trust your friend, and they listen to what you have to say without passing any judgement. There is an openness in sharing because there is no fear of judgement. You make effort to keep ego out of your relationships, and this will make those friendships all the healthier. Your friends will not make you feel inferior as there is no jealousy in your relationship, but there is mutual respect and understanding. You do not feel compromised by having to do things “under pressure” that you do not want to do, therefore you are not expected to go against your conscience and can be at peace.
A friend is someone who values you and your opinion and who can be a clear thinker. This person can also give you objective advice without being blinded by attachment. Friends will laugh with you and not at you. Actually friends will make you laugh even when you want to cry!
“A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.”
Friendships: It is good to see if you are moving in the right direction with your relationships. So, here are a few areas of our life that are worth checking.
The “I” of Self
How does friendship relate to my own self? Perhaps I should first check my relationship with myself? Am I truly investing in my relationship with myself? Do I give myself time and space; to be less self-critical; more appreciative of my good qualities and others; but also on the ball with self-checking and changing those things that need to be changed? For this I would need to set time aside for some honest self-reflection. Remember that it is always easy to put others under the magnifying glass rather than ourselves!
Family as Friends.
If you win this lottery then you are a king or queen for life. When you have a family and family members that back you up and tick the majority of the boxes above, then you are likely to have a happy and fulfilling life, feeling loved and supported. Sadly today, more often than not, this is not the case because our relationships become dysfunctional when we lose our connection with our spiritual values.
“If your Companion is God, then, even if you are alone,
you will never feel lonely.”
Good Friends – Good Health
Good friends are very good for our health and that is a fact. In our parents and grandparents time they used to have friends, but today we have counsellors and therapists! What does that say about the quality of our relationships? If we all had truly good friendships, then you know there would be a massive decrease in the numbers of people with mental health issues and depression. It is because people are feeling increasingly isolated and lonely that the suicide rate has been growing. We may connect with the world with the new tech, but be totally disconnected from ourselves, our life, our families and indeed the world! Check out the data on this. Be open to change and meeting new people, remember that there could someone ready to become your friend… waiting just around the corner.
These are probably the ones that come under the most pressure with so many personal expectations and desires; often media created and driven. But if as individual souls, these people have been doing the inner work on themselves, they have a better chance of surviving the tests and challenges of these intimate and romantic relationships.
God as my Best Friend
God is always there for me and accepts me as I truly am. God can be my true Friend and Companion. Perhaps the best relationship would be the one I keep with God as my eternal Friend, because God has known me for eternity.
“Making God your friend will bring Him close but in fact it is important not to limit your experience of God as just one kind of relationship. Experience them all – God as your Mother, Father, Companion, Beloved, Teacher, Guru, Child. Each relationship brings so much sweetness.”
It’s Time… for us to befriend ourself… and to become a true friend of humanity.