Friends are one of life’s treasures. A friend is someone who truly gets us, who knows not only our likes and dislikes, but our greatest fears, darkest secrets, and pie-in-the-sky dreams. A friend listens and understands, but will call us out on our bullshit if we need. Friends always have our backs. Friendship, like any relationship we have though, is a two-way street. Both parties must put in effort. That is to say, in order to have friends, you must be a friend first.
On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“‘We were friends’—such a simple, yet powerful statement: ‘We were friends.’ How many of us can truly say that we are a friend?
One of the devastating realities of busyness and doing too much is that we progressively have less and less time for friends.
We have to make appointments for friendship. Hanging out with a friend seems a luxury or even an inconvenience. Or we assume that we are friends and never do anything to nurture the relationship. We treat our friends like we treat ourselves, and that’s not very nice.”
As we become more weighed down by our disease of busyness and workaholism, we begin to view friends and family as a burden. They are one more thing vying for our time and attention. They pull us away from our addiction. Spending time with them has become one more checkbox to tick off on our daily to-do lists. Is it any wonder the joy and fun in our relationships has been lost? We view the people closest to us as annoyances to be dealt with, rather than the treasures they are. How fortunate we are to have people in our lives who care! Whom we admire and respect, with whom we can share laughter as well as tears. Friends accompany us on the journey of life, making it a more rich and fulfilling adventure. They help us to see ourselves and the world more clearly. We must be willing to give without expectation of anything in return. To share our time, attention, and selves freely. Our relationships require nurturing as much as we or any other living thing does for that matter. If we neglect to care for them, they will wither and die just as any plant without sun and water will.