It’s been said that a “best friend” constitutes a miracle of the universe.
During your lifetime, you attach to certain individuals who “mesh” with you mentally, spiritually and physically. At first, maybe you share the weather, sports, latest boyfriend or girlfriend, and events on the local or national scene. As time passes, you become attached because you share deeper feelings, concerns, triumphs and fellowship.
Your friendships may revolve around meeting up for a beer, wine or dancing. You may go for a walk, a bicycle ride or to the movies. You might backpack, ski or raft a river. You share moments of danger, serenity or wonder at a sunset. During those times, you develop warm feelings through laughter, stories and shared opinions on an array of topics.
Friendships develop for a short time, a long time or a lifetime. Each friendship provides you with life energy, inspiration, fellowship or companionship. You might enjoy wise advice. You may enjoy laughter. Your friends pull you through good times, bad times, heartache and heartbreak. Most people don’t think about their friendships—until they face the loss of one.
At some point, you may lose a short-term friendship because you didn’t nourish it. Friendships need watering or emotional deposits into the “heart bank.” This inquiry revolves around examining the character of your various connections. You may value solid relationships, so you periodically watch the dance within your relationships to make sure you maintain your part of creating a solid, equitable bond. Obviously, this requires being able to step back to witness your behavior within that friendship. For example, you might ask:
Are you monopolizing the dialogue and thus are not aware of the tone of the energy field between you and your friend, therefore not actually present to the message of your friend? You may have done this with the result of a drain in the sweet energy and feeling between your friend and you, yielding disconnection.
Are you not speaking your opinion or feelings in order to keep the peace and avoid their anger or sadness? Are you gauging your sharing and truth-telling only on what you think safest to share? Do your actions exhibit you authentically showing up in the friendship?
At times we choose the ‘low road’ simply due to lacking skill sets for how to negotiate conversations that will ruffle another. Anyone who does not ‘stand in our own moccasins’ will certainly bring opinions and feelings that clash with ours at some point. When we do not understand another’s position, the more authentic and honorable offering may be to just say we do not know how to handle the disparity but are committed to exploring so we can understand.
This example reflects the friendship idea: Each individual within the dynamic must make regular deposits to keep the connection thriving— e.g. deposits of goodwill, compliments and phone calls to make time to see each other, especially when the other seems to be over-withdrawing the account.
In this time of cell phones, email and other electronic “coldness,” you must choose in-person time in order to fulfill a deep friendship that lasts longer than a “tweet” or “stumble.”
Direct communication creates wholesome connection. Who among us does not know that connections lose playful energy when issues are swept under the rug and the other person is not heard? The emotional account becomes strained. Do you want real connection? You betcha!
Do you? If so, are you willing to become more aware? The result will be the safeguarding of precious created friendships.
Frosty Wooldridge lives in Genesee, Colorado and is a six-continent, world bicycle traveler who gives 12 concepts and practices for living a fabulous life in his book, “Living Your Spectacular Life.”