It is amazing to me how many of my clients, generally the women, who are in my age range between 45 and 60 who have admitted to me that they really don’t have any true friends. They do have acquaintances through work or shared interests, but really don’t think of them as true friends. In many cases this has brought on a feeling of being alone in the world, leading to depression, drug addiction and other destructive behaviors. So let us get clear on what true friendship actually means and why it is so important to a well being.
Generally when we think abut true friendship, we are speaking of a relationship with someone with whom we hold high regard, someone who we trust and someone on whom we can depend to be there when we need them, as we would be there for them in their time of need.
The New York Times published an article on April 20, 2009, by Tara parker-Pope that looked into the science behind health based on relationships. Researchers in Australia found hat 22 percent of older people with a large circle of friends were less likely to die during the study than those with fewer friends. In 2008 Harvard University researchers reported strong social ties could promote brain health as we age.
So what constitutes a healthy friendship?
Friendships are based on mutual respect which means that the relationship needs to feel positive and filled with kindness on both sides.
Shared values is another aspect of true relationships. It is the underlining glue that holds a relationship together, though it seems rarely that people give this much thought. Maybe this is because our values are largely held in our unconscious minds. It is the common values shared where we may get a feeling of resonance with one another.
We get a good feeling while in the company of our friend, their generous nature toward us shining through in both word and deed. We feel like returning the favor because of the glowing feelings that we have for a like minded attitude toward our friend.
Take the time to be with your friends. Let them know how special they are in your life, never taking for granted that they know how you feel about them. Think about how you feel when something special is done for you and how appreciated you feel as a result. These are the moments that bring life, health and happiness to our existence no matter the pressures we may feel elsewhere.
I realized the importance of my friendships up to and during the few months that I was abroad a few years ago. I had left without knowing if I was coming back here to live permanently. It was during the “going away” conversations that I had with my closest friends and family that I learned how much my presence in each of these peoples’ lives meant to them. It was a priceless gift from each. While I was abroad, I had much time to reflect on these friendships and how they were the foundation that allowed me the strength to make it through any hardships. I knew that I was surrounded by people that I knew loved and cared about me, ever present, ever respectful of my choices in life regardless of how they may feel about those same choices. This isn’t to say that if one of my friends had a question of concern they failed to bring it up. True friends always raise the hard questions in a loving and constructive manner, which is a true gift of giving as well.
If you are feeling that a person in your life is bringing you down, or expecting much more from you than you are receiving in turn, it is time to revisit if this is a healthy relationship. Understand that it is quite fine to realize that perhaps over the years that you and your old friend may have taken different journeys. Departing ways is the correct thing to do. In so doing, it will allow each of you to attract others with more in common. This is a healthy and necessary path to take for each of you. One may do this by allowing the dying relationship to end, or by having a open respectful discussion to about the reality of the negative direction that the relationship has taken. You can then do the work to heal the relationship or choose to go in different directions. Either way can and will work. Just make sure that the termination of the relationship is done in a manner that is healing rather than hurtful as best you can.
Learnings From My Journey: Suzannisms For the Mind and Soul
Learnings From My Journey: Suzannisms for the Mind and Soul is a book of essays based on the wisdom gained through those who have touched me through my own journey in life. Purchase an inspiring copy today from the Dawning Visions Hypnosis Store.Learnings From My Journey: Suzannisms For the Mind and Soul
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