There's something to be said for friendship. Especially on the days you wake up in the morning wondering which way is up. Friendship is not one of those things that is here today and gone tomorrow. A friend is neither a colleague or an acquaintance. A friend is a blood brother.
Friends come in different shapes, sizes and voices and as much as we hate to admit it especially to ourselves, some friendships are not meant to last and some will eventually shock us and last our lifetimes. But what I want to ask today is not what has your friend done for you lately, but what have you done for your friends? Not in the sense of buying stuff and but have you been there? Are you too busy? Have you become too impatient? Are you even listening any more? What's your shape? What's your voice in that relationship?
It is said we have no choice on family. I believe you also have no choice on your friends. You love who you love. The simplicity of it is baffling. Whether or not they are there for the long haul is entirely up to you.I cannot say I have been a great friend. Infact I can't say I have even been a good friend and of late it has bothered me immensely. My biggest worry has always been what my friends do for me. Whether they were there when I was in trouble. Whether they were listening when I was bubbling on in excitement. All this is well and good but my worry should not have been all those "me, me, me" issues. It should have been whether I was there when they needed me the most.
I already know my own problems but is it really my place to add on to someone else's issues with my own and then pat myself on the back and walk away? Yes, a problem shared is a problem halved but that should only be a rule you apply to your doctor or your mother but to a friend? You half your problem and you let them half theirs. It should always balance out. Give only if you expect to receive. Cry only if you expect them to cry...Laugh only if you expect them to laugh....Unburden only if you expect them to unburden.
We have built this habit (I am really hoping I'm not alone on this one) where the minute someone says something, whether sad or exciting, you want to interject with your own funnier or sadder story. Like what you have to say is way more important than what they have to say. And you think you are a good friend? really?? Yes, your life is sad and yes, you landed the job sent directly from heaven's doors BUT the only reason your friend came to you, was because she/he believed that at the very least you will listen, if not help or rejoice with them.
You are not there to shine while your friends pale and stare in awe at your radiance. You are friends so that when you're dull, you're dull together and when you shine, you are brilliant together. Friendship is not a competition. If it was, there'd be a section for it in the Olympics. But there isn't.... because friendship is a sacrifice, a compromise...it is a relationship where your needs should pale in comparison to your friend's needs (within reason ofcourse) Friendship is hard, as it should be. You not only have to take care of another unrelated human being, you have to trust that they will take care of you and if you are in doubt about such a simple thing as trust then you have no business calling it a friendship. You should quickly file that under "Acquaintances". Life is hard enough as it is without worrying whether you are being back stabbed by the people closest to you.
A friend is supposed to stick closer than a brother. I am supposed to stick closer than a brother. I am supposed to know my friends as well as I know myself. I am not supposed to condone everything they do, but I am supposed to accept them for who or what they are. They are meant to be better people because of me and not inspite of me. I am not supposed to make them feel like they should be strong all the time because I have refused to accept their weaknesses. They are supposed to feel safe and accepted and loved. And when they speak, when they need me, there should be nothing more important to me.
Too often we take friendship for granted. Like it will always be there. Until you hear those ridiculous stories about people committing suicide and getting drugged in clubs, and you wonder "Didn't they have friends?" But you could be the reason they couldn't come and tell you what was bothering them or worse, you could be the friend that always walked away in time of need. Friends make you realise that life is not all about you. Other people do exist. People who matter. People who need you to pray for them as much as you need them to pray for you. Again I ask you, Are you the friend that you need to be?