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What defines friendship?

What does being a friend mean to you? What do we expect from our friendships?
Wikipedia says… it’s the cooperative and supportive relationship between people… which involves mutual knowledge, esteem, affection, and respect with a degree of rendering service in times of need or crisis. … also engage in mutually helping behavior, such as the exchange of advice and the sharing of hardship.

For me, friendship also extends to recognizing my friends as great teachers and mirrors. Reflecting, not only all of the qualities that we love about ourselves but some of the less desirable traits too. They offer an opportunity to witness and learn about the hidden aspects of my character, those places within me that I may have judged, condemned, and then continually punished through self-loathing, addictions or getting or allowing others to treat me badly.
Whilst I welcome any chance to clear out a belief that keeps me stuck in a place of darkness, sometimes the lessons come hardest when delivered by a beloved friend. This year has been interesting …twice I have been shocked to my core by the actions of a couple of my dearest friends. The details are unnecessary here but the lessons I’ve learnt are vital.

Here are some useful tips that I’ve found helpful to move through these sticky times:

       • Never take anything personally. What someone else does or says, even directly to you, is not about you, it’s about how they feel about themselves and the situation.
       • Take full responsibility for the way you feel. Cry the tears. Ask yourself: what is the feeling underneath the anger? And yes, there is always another feeling….Disappointment? Sadness? Hurt?    Own and feel into this too. Keep doing this until you feel peace and resolution. 
      • Make your friendship more important than being RIGHT! 
      • Suspending judgment and keep moving towards the person in question (withdrawing is a form of attack)
     • And of course my old favorite, repeat as often as required: I LOVE YOU, I’M SORRY, PLEASE FORGIVE ME, THANK YOU.

To all my friends:I love you. I can’t do this without you. Bless you. You’re the greatest!

From my heart to yours with love and light.

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