Creative expression through the written word

Posts tagged ‘friendships’

The Inner Circle

Believe it or not….. I am a relatively private person. I know – SHOCKER! The reality is that most of the people that I call friends would tell you that I don’t really talk about the deep, private stuff. I will totally be there for you in that regard but I don’t really share that side of myself with people. There are very few – less than 5 who I have let into the inner circle.

The thing is, I was never that way before. I think the change happened in me when a very dear friend, a best friend….. you know, the one that is THE friend. The one who knows your deepest, darkest secrets. Knows you better then you even know yourself sometimes. Well this friend, believed that I said something to someone in their life causing a very hurtful and devastating emotional situation in their life to erupt. I don’t want to go into the whole story but the truth is – I would NEVER do what I was being accused of to anyone let alone someone I had loved so deeply.

I was devastated and it felt for years like I was emotionally destroyed. I couldn’t understand how someone who supposedly “knew me better than anyone else” was so totally blind to my character, integrity and honesty. I literally drowned in pain realizing I had shared my most intimate emotional self with someone and they never really saw me. I lived with heartbreak for years and when new relationships were presented to me I became leery and reserved.

Its been sixteen years and I still have a hard time crossing the boundary of friends to inner circle friends. Thus the reason there are so few who really know anything deep about me. So today I was thinking about what makes a friend and this is what I have come up with…. mind you it is totally my perspective. You can do with it what you will:

  • Honesty – I need to know that the person I am dealing with is an honest person and that I can be honest with them without fear of fallout.
  • Integrity – As unfair as it may seem they have to prove their have integrity to me before I can even think about opening myself up to them. I don’t actually test them but I am observing and I pay attention to how they handle their own life situations.
  • Laughter – I can take things pretty serious, especially about myself, so I need someone who can make me laugh. If you can make me laugh about myself – all the better.
  • Dependable – I need someone who I can count on. Really. I need them to show up when they say they will, call when they say the will, do something when they say they will. I need to know I can depend on them – bottom line!
  • Adventurous – I tend to be a stay in the comfort of my home and become a hermit type of person. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love a good adventure. Actually I crave them which is why I need someone to encourage me to be more adventurous.
  • Level-headed – I am not one of those people that can deal with eternal drama. I need the people closest to me to be level headed and even keeled. Keep the drama away. I can deal with drama when I need to but it isn’t what I want in my closest relationships.

These are the things I look for in a friend and before you ask, yes, I expect to give all these things in return. Friendship is a two way street after all. I have found over the years that friendships are what has kept me sane in event he most stressful situations. I value them. Take care of your friends, honor them and protect them and let the friends that appear to bfriends but aren’t really go. You will thank yourself later.

< Greater than

Life would be so much better if I did _____! Current life choices + _______ = me < (greater than) I was before. So yesterday I wrote about 5 things to do less of and today I am writing about 5 things to do more of.

I’ve been systematically working on improving my life for a year. Not that my life sucked mind you, more that I was aware of the need for improvement and change. So although I haven’t progressed to where I want to be. I am making progress. These are the things that I have been focusing on:

  1. Gratitude- practicing gratitude can really make a difference in your life. Every day before I go to bed I write in my journal one thing I am grateful for that happened that day.  It gives me time to think of all the good that has happened. I’ve also noticed that the more grateful I am the more I find to be grateful for. 
  2. Friendships- okay this might sound silly but focusing on my friendships has really improved my life. I have lots of friends but I wasn’t paying as close of attention to the relationships as I should have. I started calling people more, visiting, going to lunch, grabbing a cocktail or dinner. I started reconnecting with old friends too. I found I had been taking my friends for granted and once I started paying attention to the state of my friendships I found myself in a happier place.
  3. Recognizing happiness- so I read a book not long ago called The Happiness Project and it really made me take stock in what makes me happy. There were lots of things that made me unhappy and I addressed them but I also discovered the things that made me happy and I gave myself permission to do more of those things even if it makes no sense to anyone else. Now I’m aware of when something makes me happy and I try to incorporate more of it into my life. 
  4. Giving of one’s self- so for some people it is a requirement to volunteer and give back on some way to their community. I’ve never been a serious volunteer. That doesn’t mean I haven’t given hours and hours to projects, places and people in the form of service…it just means I don’t go out of my way looking for ways to volunteer. However, I believe that giving of one’s self can be done through time and talent. I can donate my time or my talents and skills to help others. I’m trying to do more of this on a broader spectrum. 
  5. Writing- okay, for me, my creative outlet is writing but for others it can cooking, art, music etcetera. By writing a little each day I fee better overall. Everyone needs a creative outlet. Spend time letting those creative juices flow. When you open up to creativity you also open yourself up to new experiences. It works. Really. 

Changing your life for the better can be as simple as making one small change. You don’t have to radically shift your whole life. Figure out where your life can improve and then find one thing to do that will head you in that direction. 

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