A Balanced Approach to Wellness

Posts tagged ‘friendship’

The Friendship Drift

clouds

Clouds float in the sky, each with its course and oscillation. The clouds float on their own courses, but join and separate when their courses intersect or diverge. The joining can be fleeting or it can last until the clouds are no more. The separating can be complete, with each cloud retaining its original form and content, or it can be wrenching, with one or both of the clouds pulling at the other’s shape and taking part away with it. Clouds can join in groups, staying together until they are no more, or separating singly or in groups, with each separation having retention or taking away. Clouds have purpose, and as they float they perform their individual tasks. When joined, they sometimes perform together or change their purposes. Clouds have interesting aspects.

Friendship has interesting aspects. Friends each have their path and equivocation. They build their lives along their own paths, but join and separate when circumstances bring them together or separate them. The joining can be short-lived or can last a lifetime. Separation can be final, with each person staying on his or her path, or the movement away from one another can bring pain or remembrances of joy. Friendships can be between two or among many, existing until circumstances bring separation, with some friendships remaining and some dissolving. Each person in a friendship has purpose, and the friends maintain their individual purposes as they experience life together.  Their togetherness has mutual influence, and the friends sometimes change their purposes from influence of a friend. Yes, friendship has interesting aspects.

Friends made during childhood can last a lifetime, but holding on to childhood friendships when they no longer bring comfort is disheartening and senseless. Friendships developed through work or proximity are worth developing for the comfort they bring at the time. Building new friendships throughout one’s life is wisdom performed. The joining of people into groups of friends is wise as well.

Clouds and friends, drifting along in joined companionship.

Friendships through the years

friendships

I recently returned from a reunion for my husband’s youth group class. Many years have passed since these people were together, but the years fell away and the friendships were rekindled. The reunion reminds me of the following poem from the book Unfolding—A Collection of Wisdom Poetry:

Where Friendship Blooms

We walked in the park
My friends and I
We talked of past joys
And we talked of old fears.

We walked in the park
Slower than before
Youthful expectation fulfilled
Again, close connections rekindled.

Laughter and sadness and
Triumphs and defeats.
Together at times, but
Separate most often.

Youth offers opportunities
To acquire friends and more friends.
Time and experiences
Test the strength of the ties.

Ties that bind and support
Through the years fray or thicken.
The ties that continue
Give comfort, health, and joy.

We walked in the park
My friends and I.

The importance of friendships

(taken from my article of the same name on Relationship.Answers.com  )

Friendship

A woman I know recently celebrated her birthday unhappily. Her personal celebration was doing nothing except watching reruns of TV shows and eating cookies—alone. Her Facebook page had numerous birthday wishes, which made her feel remembered—sort of. Her family is scattered, so her family celebration was minor.

Birthday celebrations are not the topic. The point about this woman’s birthday is that she has not built friendships that sustain her, so when her birthday rolls around, she doesn’t have friends to join her celebration. Other times in the year, she also feels the lack of camaraderie.

This post explores facets of friend-investment.

Family togetherness

Friends and family can be one and the same. People who are close to their family members usually rely on them for celebrations, assistance, and friendship. A family that has nurtured caring communication is the support ensuring consistent company and connection. Distance does not sever the bonds formed between loving family members, and today’s modes of communication enrich and enable support from afar.

Friends from convenience

School, work, shared-interest groups, shared distressing incidents or traumas. These places and events provide opportunities to meet friends for life or to experience the moments in unison for a defined period of time. Friends for life are possible when both parties invest relatively equally in the relationship. Short-term friends also require investment, but they lack the ingredient of heartfelt fondness that long-term friendship requires. Enjoying people for the short term is worth the effort, and should not be avoided.

Trusted friends

People need friends to help them live. Living is not possible without companionship. Even people who eschew human contact require friends in some form, be it an animal or a plant.

The need for friends is a design issue. People were designed to desire company. People were designed to share experiences, thoughts, and emotions.  People were designed to bond and to care. Ill treatment by caregivers or other trusted community members can damage bonding and caring, but the design is the design.

Sharing thoughts and emotions requires feelings of security and trust. A friend who is trustworthy is friendship real. Trustworthiness is not uncommon; most people can be trustworthy. What is required is finding friends who value each other. Valuing one another leads to long-term relationships and to support that is dependable.

Partner as friend

Friendship does not require cohabitation or feelings of desire. Pairing with another does require living together and desiring each other. Being in a relationship with another person is similar to friendship, but differs because of sexual attraction and expectations. A partner who fulfills the requirements of a friend is valuable. Being a partner and a friend is sometimes contradictory although not impossible. The requirement for this relationship is motivation: motivation to support, appreciate, accommodate, and accept.

Having a partner who is friend-worthy does not reduce the need for other friends. A friend-worthy partner is fortunate, but the twists and turns of life can undo the partnership, and friends outside the partnership are necessary for long-term support.

Summary

“Investing in friendships and giving and taking from friends is nourishing. Investing in relationships is natural and is needed to live a balanced life. Investing in family—children, children’s children, siblings, cousins, and so on builds a network of support that is reliable.” …from Oneself–Living.

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