Thank you for being a friend
Travel down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confident.
And if you threw a party, invited everyone you knew.
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
and the card attached would say,
Thank you for being a friend.
The words to the theme song from the Golden Girls have been bouncing around in my head this week. It has been a glorious week of socializing for me. I feel like a social butterfly who has been set free from its chrysalis. I got to spend time with so many of my friends that I have not seen in what seems like an eternity!
I had two lunch dates. One with my old high school friend. Christy and I have reconnected after years of separation. It’s been like we hadn’t missed a beat! I had another date with my good friend that I haven’t seen for months. I had brunch with some of my friends where we discussed some complex ideas that you can’t mull over with a group, text chat. Another friend that I haven’t seen for six months came for a two day visit. Last but not least, I got to spend an hour and a half with my massage therapist and good friend. We used each other as a health soundboard discussing physical, emotional and spiritual issues that we are wrestling with.
For months now, with the social distancing guidelines firmly entrenched with suggestions of staying home and avoiding “unnecessary” contact with others, many of us have postponed spending one-on-one in person time with friends. I don’t know about you but I am feeling the effects of not being able to spend time with some of the most cherished people in my life…my pals, my confidants.
Friends play a huge role in our lives. They are a much needed support system. Friends keep us from losing our minds. They assist us in keeping our feet pointed in the right direction. When a sounding board is needed, our friends are there to bounce things off of. Their shoulder is there to cry on and their arms to hold and comfort in times of deep, dark despair. A friend will defend you, and stand up for you when you need an advocate in your corner. They will wipe your tears and make you pee your panties, often at the same time. Friend’s heart strings are connected to yours, you share some of the same interests and beliefs. With a true friend, you aren’t afraid to say it like it is because you’re not afraid of being chastised for expressing your beliefs. Real friends don’t have to pretend to be something they aren’t. A friend allows you to be you and loves you for your quirks.
All good reasons that build a strong foundation for a supportive, loving friendship. It’s no secret to most of us what the benefits a true friendship can bring into our lives. When you think about your friends I’m sure most of the reasons I mentioned describe their attributes. However, there are some benefits that you may not be aware of when it comes to friendships.
A Harvard study concluded that having good, supportive friendships in our lives could help promote a healthy brain. I don’t know about you, but I can always use a little help in the healthy brain department! Friendships can assist us with keeping our minds healthy! When you stop to think about it, it makes sense.
We turn to our friends in times of stress, they assist us in seeing the problems and oftentimes assist us with a solution to that problem, allowing us to release mental anxiety. If you have good, positive friends, they tend to boost your positive outlook and help you replace your gloomy, Eeyore attitude with a sunny, Piglet one. They are our cheerleaders, encouraging us to keep going after our goals when we want to throw in the towel. They have our backs supporting use in troubled times.
I have a lot of acquaintances in my life, but only a handful of what I consider to be close friends. You know the kind that I’m talking about. The ones that you can spill your guts to at 3:00 a.m. The ones that you can ask an opinion and get an honest answer. The ones that at times you feel like they know you better than you know yourself. Those are the people that are your tribe, your back up singers, your partners in crime that you know you could count on if you needed to bury a body. Quality friendship to me is more important than quantity.
My friends are each unique, each has a speciality that they excel at. How about yours? Who is the first person that you think of if you are struggling? If you need a laugh or a pick-me-up who do you think of? What name comes to you if you need a shoulder to cry on? How about a question on what is the best supplement to take for a certain aliment? Each of my friends has that special vibe that they and they alone possess.
I have a group of energy worker friends affectionately referred to as “My Cronies” a name given to the group by my dear friend, Dorothy who founded the group.
Every member in the group is an energy healer of some kind, but that’s where the likeness stops. Each worker has her own unique talents and the personalities are all over the spectrum! When we pool our talents and work together, we are powerful. What one doesn’t think of another will. Each member is a puzzle piece that adds to the collective whole when connected.
That’s what friends do, they complete each other. They make you a better person because they are in your life and visa versa. Dionne Warwick reminds us:
Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for.
Friendship has to be a two way street, a give and receive in order for it to thrive. You need to know that if needed, your friend would step up to the plate for you, just like you would for them. Both parties deserve to benefit. When a friendship is a one way street, it isn’t a friendship it’s the proverbial albatross around your neck. It holds you down instead of lifting you up.
Friends are truly blessings in our lives. I would like to invite you to take a minute today, reach out to those special people you have in your life that you call friends. Give them a call, Facetime them, make some kind of contact and let them know how blessed you feel to have them in your life and just how much you appreciate their love and support. You just might make their day and strengthen your friendship even more.