Friendship brings unique gifts to our lives; gifts of fun and laughter, of memories and sorrows lightened. Becoming a good friend to yourself opens doors, for you to be—and find a good friend.
Celebrate your life.
If you love to write or run or volunteer, do it. If you dream of trying something new and exciting, that is not self destructive, let yourself soar into it. If you’ve wanted to take a little time to yourself, just to know you a little better, take it now. Your commitment, energy and increasing love of life will be contagious. Be someone that you want to know.
Yet, times come that may hurt us deeply, like the loss of a loved one. Those times often open our hearts in ways that let us touch and be touched more deeply. We might not want to chat about seemingly less important things. Yet we can turn to a friend in pain and give the loving attention that deeply comforts. Being there for someone in this way builds a strong heart, the heart of a friend.
Friends find each other in many ways, through other friends or the internet. Some meet in neighborhoods, parks and schools. Some practice sports or arts together. Some gather independently, side by side. Gradually we learn to take turns, to cooperate, to share and to giggle together. We welcome each other to our lives.
In high school, our lives and brains move through many stages. We turn to friends in intense connections, and then suddenly find ourselves alone again. Some friends remain—the ones that matter the most. Friendships bring joy, pain, understanding and shelter in facing the challenges in our lives. We celebrate, cry, figure things out and bear witness to our changing seasons.
Our similarities and differences that lead us to choose our friends. We tend to look for friends who seem to best understand and accept us as is. Most of us are attracted to an easy smile and a positive attitude. We seek understanding, common interest and a person we can trust. Most prefer someone who is flexible, patient, honest and forgiving. We need to laugh and have good times together. Sometimes, we are attracted to others like us in ways we would never have expected. Friends help us to be stronger, but also can pull us back down to a familiar and stuck place that might be hard to escape. Friends sometimes do and say things that might scare us. The loss of a companion hurts so much. In time, we open our eyes more quickly to the doors that now open as we change.
Simply saying hello often serves as the first step in making a connection. Finding places to meet like-minded people helps too. Becoming the person you want to know moves you to love. The authentic understanding you develop with yourself leads to better knowing of others too. Take time to better know who you are. Take the time to better know another. Take time to allow yourself to be more flexible, assertive, kind and patient. Our world offers many opportunities to make life sweeter for ourselves and each other. Open the door.