By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters On August 20, 2013
The only way to have a friend is to be one.
The Importance of Friendship
The term "friend" is used loosely today. We term someone we have never met in person but "knows you" on FaceBook as a "friend." Are they really? With so many social media venues, friendship is underrated.This superficial relationship is not what a true friend is. A friend can help you to be happy with life. What is the true meaning of friendship?
A friend is a person close to you, but unrelated, that supports you and stands by during difficulties and challenges as well as times of celebration. Friends listen to you boring stories without complaint, and you listen to theirs. People that have strong friendships are happier than those who don't. Friends help boost your self-esteem. They add rather than detract. They are honest with you when others might not be. Friends support you when you are having relationship or financial difficulties. Friends understand your weaknesses and don't poke fun at you when you are down.
Friends offer encouragement and help you understand your own motivation when you don't. Often a friend will inspire you with a fresh perspective giving you new ideas and confidence. True friends are steadfast and strong when you feel weak. We can't possibly have our needs met by one person - a significant other. A friend offers a different perspective than our spouse or partner. Whether we are in a marriage or partnership, we still need to have friends.
As with any relationship, friendships take work. They are not one-sided but rather give and take. If your friends are more of an anchor than a sail, as my friend William says, then they aren't your friends.
- How often do you tell your friends that you love them?
- Do you do so flippantly as you hang up the phone, "I love you too!" These words can be meaningless when repeated without thought, or feeling.
- What if you could be present in the moment with your friend or loved one - even for 5 minutes (no multi-tasking)?
- What would that mean for you?
When we are able to let go of the idea that someone is going to hurt us, our heart opens more easily. If we have been hurt repeatedly in romantic relationships, it can feel more safe to open our heart in a friendship. We are able to deepen the bond in our close friendships and we are able to embrace the moment and the love. It may not be romantic love, but it is still love nonetheless. If you are looking for love outside of yourself, a friendship is an excellent proving ground. While we have to love ourselves before we can love another, a friend can be the testing ground for our communication skills and help us love ourselves more in the process. A true friend will let you know when you are full of crap. All of the skills used in a deep friendship are helping you improve your relationship skills. As with any relationship, you cannot take a friend for granted.
The beautiful and loving letter below was written to me by my dearest friend, William. I include it because this speaks of what a true friend is. Giving from your heart can bring you untold gifts. Remember life is short, don't wait to appreciate those in your life that love you. We never know what tomorrow may bring.
Writing this loving letter to me had the gift of amazing results for him. I could not read the whole letter without crying myself. Thank you dear friend. (The link to my podcast is below.)
A loving note that blew my friend's heart open
This is a letter that I am blessed to write and even happier that I am able to do it now. You see, how often do we wait, or even ignore the opportunity to really share from our heart. We say, “I love you.” And more often times, we reply, “I know, I love you too.” But do we? We know the emotion and the energy, but rarely do we really see the depth of it. So today, I claim my right to share my heart with you.
We have come a distance you and I. Sometimes it has been smooth sailing, other times I have felt shipwrecked on the rocks. You have been there for me, and I you. We have cried and laughed together and I have known your pain and frustration. And regretfully, you have known ALL mine. I think I have been the carrier of much sorrow and anger... yet you have been there to listen and acknowledge and ever so gently (most times) encourage me back on track. We have both wielded that spiritual 2 x 4 with masterful strokes into each other… On occasion even a 4 x 4 for those “special events.” We have talked, and we have been silent what I have never known is a day without your love and support. Even when I wished to separate from it… And that is a monumental task. Your support has been unfailing and inviolable. You have always been there. In the depths of my darkness you would take my hand and we would walk through the darkness and you would explain each and every point, share the perspective of 360 degrees… To really walk around an issue ever before draw a conclusion or emotion. You would make suggestions and offer prayers, blessings and wisdom at every turn. Even in the midst of going one on one with God you stood with me, maybe not my beliefs, yet you stood with me. And when God took me in the first few seconds of the first round, as he placed his foot on my chest – to claim absolute victory… You were there.
I can’t tell you how much you have meant to me. You have modeled so many things and offered your treasure to me in every circumstance. You loved me even when I did not love myself and you wouldn’t let go. You would never let go. You loved and loved and loved. I firmly believe that we cannot master something we have never seen or felt… All the blessings and gifts are only transferred from one generation to the next when we give them… Not talking, not praying, not even instructing… We need to be the divine witness and demonstrate them. You have done this to me, over and over.
Be faithful, trust, love these are all words you have whispered into my heart and always, with a deep abiding love. Thank you for every breath we have shared, for every tear and every embrace and most of all for the faith and trust to walk this journey together.
I wish you every blessing, every abundance, and perfect health. If anyone deserves the love and trust of the most high it is you dear friend. So ever if you are called into the throne room, please know I will be there, I will call out your name and before the most high I will proclaim my love and admiration for this spirit that has been with me. Your spirit and countenance will be known ever before you meet them. Your heart will be coveted as a friend and beloved. Your wisdom shall be treasured for it’s timelessness and your truth will flow like a soft summer breeze yet thunder as the waves of a tsunami. That is my dearest Jennifer and there is not a day that goes by that my heart does not skip a beat thinking of the gifts of my dearest friend Jennifer has given me.
Even now, I see God himself whisper your name and smile. Well done good and faithful servant…. Now go forth and prosper!
With all my love
Never to be broken, infringed, or dishonored.
sacred - sacrosanct - infrangible - irrefrangible