Friend [n.]: A person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
I started cultivating friendships at a young age. As early as first grade, I can remember quickly becoming friends with my peers without a doubt in my mind that they had my best interest at heart. I was simply enjoying the children around me. To be fair, I was 6. Why would I think otherwise? However, I did begin to notice the difference between someone being nice and someone being mean because of the way they made me feel. As an adult, I have a heightened awareness when it comes to the energy of those I choose to surround myself with. Am I the only one?
I don’t have to speak with my friends every day to stay connected. There is beauty in spending months or even years apart and feeling as if we’ve never spent time apart when we see one another again. I love watching my friends from a distance and seeing how they grow while I cheer them on every step of the way. Our lives get busy and phone calls become less frequent, though the love we share fails to dissipate.
Genuine friends should support you through thick and thin, even when disagreements are had. If you value your friendship, you should be able to put differences aside, hear one another out, agree to disagree, apologize, and keep your bond strong.
“It’s the friends we meet along the way who help us appreciate the journey.” -Unknown
Take a moment to think about all of the close relationships you have grown to love over the years. How did you meet? How long have you known them? What about them intrigues you to continue building a friendship? Do they add value to your life?
Be inspired by your friends and allow their experiences to motivate you to not give up and to push you out of your comfort zone. True friends cheer you on from the sidelines with every endeavor you pursue. If you are not surrounded by people who inspire you to do and be better, there may be a disconnect. Try placing yourself in environments that will attract the energy you deserve to have in your life. You should be able to learn from your friends. If you feel that the energy your "friends" put out doesn't align with your morals and values then maybe you need new friends.
Real friends should be able to give you a reality check because they are not afraid to tell you things that you fail to admit. Oftentimes, your closest friends know more about you than you know about yourself. They allow you to feel comfortable enough around them to be exactly who you are without judgment. They keep you from being in denial and validate what you may already know. However, you know you’re in need of their valued and honest opinion. Even though you may hate it, you also love it when they are right.
You feel comfortable enough around them to let your hair down because they accept you, flaws and all. They would never use what you tell them in confidence against you. They hold all of your secrets near and dear to their hearts and are able to emotionally navigate you because they know your wants and needs. A real friend knows parts of you that most of the world would never know.
“Friendships may not last forever but each interaction builds something special.”
Take a moment to think about all of the close relationships you once appreciated, but have now ended. What caused a rift in that friendship? Is it something that can be mended? Did you have a verbal or physical altercation?
You will have several friends throughout your life, but it’s the ones who stick around through every peak and valley who should be considered real friends. The ones who boost your self-confidence when you forget to value your greatness. The ones you have an entire conversation with by simply making eye contact across a room. The ones who become family because blood can’t make you any closer. The ones you share inside jokes with and no one else will ever understand. The ones you know will come running when you need them most. The ones who will give you the shirt off their backs or even their last dollar. The ones you can sit in silence with because all you need is a shoulder to lean on. The ones who check on you, even if periodically, to make sure you’re okay. The ones who can admit when they are wrong and are willing to mend the cracks in your friendship. Just because you have known someone for YEARS doesn’t mean he/she/they are meant to stick around, but if the value of the friendship is important enough, it will withstand the tests of time.
The importance of the energy you keep around you will either elevate you or break you down physically and mentally. Spending time with positive people can completely change your outlook on life. Some people are placed in our lives, whether forever or a short period of time, to add value that always stays with us. Friends play a large part in value that molds us as individuals even when we don’t realize it. Real friends matter.
“True friends are never apart. Maybe in distance, but never in the heart.” -Unknown