The Dragonfly Forest

They have been given names such as devil’s darning needle, ear sewer, horse stinger, skeeter hawk, and the snake’s servant. Actually, Dragonflies are beneficial, peaceful, and stunning. You are a Dragonfly if you are: ADD/ADHD, dyslexic, dysgraphic, Asperger’s, NLVD, autistic…

Monday, December 28, 2015

5 Lessons about friendship

As 2015 comes to an end I want to reflect on 5 lessons I have learned over the years regarding friendships.  

1~  Not everyone is worthy of being your friend. It is okay to be friendly with many people but only those you can trust should you let into your inner friend circles.  Some people only want to be your friend to get their own needs met. 

2~ Your inner friend circles should have different levels.  When you do let someone into your inner friend circles they must earn their way through the levels. How fast the friend go through these levels will vary depending on the person and some may never reach the inner core of your true self.  Friends can move up and down on the different levels but only a very select few should be allowed in this inner core.  These levels are not games but designed to keep you safe and protected.

3~ Let your inner friends know you really care about them. A few years ago my childhood friend Matt was in the hospital for New Years due to a diabetic problem.  Trying to cheer him up I told him "hey, things can't get worse - the year can only go up from here."  Well, I was wrong. Soon I received word from Matt's wife that he went into a diabetic coma and passed away.  He will be forever missed by his wife, two young boys, and his friends.  A few weeks prior to his death, Matt and I met for coffee to discuss our kids and catch up on events. Matt's death was an important lesson for me to make sure those in my inner friend circles know that they matter to me because you never know how much time we have left.

4~ Friendships are not always equally balanced. Since we are all living our own lives we will need friends at different times and in varying degrees. There will be times when your friend needs a shoulder to cry on and you need to be strong and other times when you have hit rock bottom and you need the strength of your friends to help you up.  You should also understand that not all friends will be able to give you what you need.  Your core inner friends are the ones that will be there for you at your worst.  They are the ones that will fight for you when you have no more strength to fight for your self.  

5~ Not all friendships last forever. There will be times when you realize that you are doing all the care-taking.  You will discover that your needs are not being met. This usually happens in times of crisis when you look for support from that friend and each time they are not there for you. When a friendship becomes one-sided it is time to move that person to a different level in the inner friend circle or out of the circle. It isn't always easy to notice this at first because we care so much for this friend and can't believe that they are actually ignoring or abandoning us in our times of need but eventually we realize we are chasing after them. You will notice that you have shared something very personal and your friend goes MIA or is all of a sudden busy.  You keep reaching out to them but notice that you are the one texting/calling/emailing them first. When you are in crisis you should not be the one hunting your friends down they should be there for you. If you are the only one fighting to keep a friendship going then it is time to let go.  If that person wants you in his/her life they will work on repairing the friendship. It's okay for friends to get overwhelmed and not be able to give what you need at the time you need it but true friends tell you this and never abandon you.      

So, in 2016 think about your friendships.  I love this Jon Katz quote:  "I think if I've learned anything about friendship, it's to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you.  Don't walk away, don't be distracted, don't be too busy or tired, don't take them for granted.  Friends are a part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff."