“My primary relationship is with myself- all others are mirrors of it. As I learn to love myself, I automatically receive the love and appreciation that I desire from others. If I am committed to myself and to living my truth, I will attract others with equal commitment…” Shakti Gawain
How can we be a friend to another if we categorically deny ourselves our own friendship? Call it self love, self respect, honor, commitment to our goals or knowing when to draw the line in the sand, we start all friendships with Us in the front-line. As we journey through the seasons of our lives, we come to recognize that friendships are not just about the connections we make with others but about the commitments we make to honor ourselves. Friendship is often viewed through the lens of “other.”: Other people outside of us who fulfill our needs, support our dreams, engage us in our daily struggles, and march with us defending us from the machinations of enemies, imagined or real. But what about the friend we must be to ourselves? Where are we in this frame of definitions and discourse?
Consider for a moment what draws you to become friends with another person… Is it really the qualities they possess or the qualities you have that are enhanced in their company? Do you have a friend who sometimes does something that really irritates you? Yes we all do and when we stop to think about it, the irritant is something we dislike in ourselves or something we want to deny about ourselves… I wonder about this too because my friends come in all shapes and colors of the friendship kaleidoscope; each friend represents an aspect or facet of myself that glows or dims depending on the day. At any moment, the kaleidoscope reveals its secrets and I glimpse something bright or blunt in my friends and they in me… we talk about it, tackle it and press on; that is real friendship.
My friends are not namby pamby or fly-by-nighters; I know a few of those but they are not friends. My friends encourage me as much as they challenge me to stay true to my goals and I do same. But it all starts with me or, in the case of the collective, with Us. As I challenge myself to be a friend to myself first and then to others, my friends champion our collective course; ‘You must be a friend to have a friend’ might be a classic cliche but it rings true in life, like it or not. I can turn to Di, Esme, Ade or any of my friends and in that moment, we re-connect with our mutual history, our quirks and the back story of what has kept our friendship going. As my friend Barb says, we show up. We have our share of flaws and we don’t ignore them. We reconvene for things that matter and then we press on.
Above all, we challenge each other to stay the course, to be fully our quirky, zany, brilliant, silly selves. That’s what friendship is about. Being a loving friend to ourselves first and then a friend to others… The rest is up to us. What are your thoughts? Have you looked in the mirror today and said: Hello my friend, I love you? 🙂
What are your thoughts on friendship? I would love to hear from you: Please leave me a comment. Thank You!
Positive Motivation Tip: The seed to all friendships is within us; plant it, tend to it, water it and it will grow.
- Changing places and changing friendships (psychologytoday.com)
- Is it Okay to just be Friends with your Online Date? (datingonline.net)
- Things That Can Cause Break Up for Friendship (socyberty.com)
PHOTO CREDITS: Orange Summer Flowers samples via National Geographic