Because We Are Friends

Friendship Thoughts
St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, 354 - 430

The love of friendship should be gratuitous.
You ought not to have
or to love a friend for what he will give you.

If you love him for the reason that
he will supply you with money or some other temporal favor,
you love the gift rather than him.

A friend should be loved freely for himself,
and not for anything else

I have been here before, standing on a precipice, wondering well, it is an awfully long way down now, isn’t it?
Earlier, I would have waited for someone to catch me.

Now, well, let’s just stand on the edge and take a look.

Face fear, thumb your nose at panic, dance a jig at dread.

I have no fear of being alone; I do not panic when I have myself for company, and I do not dread the long night hours. This does not make me exceptional; it makes me, well, me. On the other hand, I watch in horror as others leap from one relationship to the next because they are afraid to spend the night alone, and distract themselves with conversations about nothing at all because spending a moment in self-reflection would cause their very soul to implode. Discard this one because the next one is a better fit. Drop that one because well, you know, fish in the sea and all that. Live with no regard for others and always take, take and here, take a little more. Then when the world suddenly comes crashing down and there are no more distractions big enough to turn everything back into candy floss and ponies, ask for a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on because facing the truth alone is too much to comprehend after weeks, months or years of living recklessly.

We should look after our friends, that is of course wisdom, Yet, do your friends look after you? How many fair weather friends are lurking in your pockets, the buddy of the day, the “sure you can call me anytime” but they never pick up the phone or the friend who suddenly finds their latest distraction is well, far (insert your own adjective here) better/funnier/thinner/jollier/richer than you, for the time being. Eventually, you will be good enough again when the moment arises at their convenience. And we, the loyal friends, we wait. We bide our time, silly and stupid, waiting our turn to be an “innie” again. We console ourselves by thinking, “well, I will always be the one, I am reliable, I am always here, that makes me the true friend… when he/she needs me, he/she will always find me here…” We make ourselves believe that by sacrificing our own self-worth, we are doing something good and since we don’t expect anything in return, then we should probably get the medal of sainthood too. It might make you virtuous, but actually, it also makes you dumb as hell.

Dependable you may be, but how quickly does dependability turn into blatant usery?
Sacrifice might be noble, but how often has it come at the expense of your own sense of self in the aid of a person, who at the end of the day, barely had a thankyou in return?

This is not how friendship should work.
Friends are not a commodity. They cannot be bartered, sold or exchanged, for a better model.
Friendship is not a one-way street. It has no red lights and no u-turns.

True friendship is hard to find and not easy to hold on to. It is based on an exchange of ideas that is beneficial to both of you. People drift apart and find their way back to each other only if time so deems it.
Letting friends go is a necessary part of life – there are those who will stay with you forever. You will always find a way back to each other, no matter what the distance. And you will come back to each other with fresh ideas, new thoughts and different perspectives. Your relationship will not suffer, it will only bloom and carry through the next steps of life.

Choose your friends carefully. People have the uncanny ability to suck you dry and spit you out even before you realise you are being chewed up alive. Be brave, and walk away.
Be sceptical of your friends. They are human, and humans, as we know, are not flawless. A true friend will accept when you call out their rubbish. As long as you call it out to their face and not to the whole planet. When B does something silly or reprehensible, what kind of a friend are you when you don’t tell them? Don’t mock. Don’t advertise their misdeeds. Be the keeper of secrets. And expect the same thing from them.
I expect a friend to tell me when I am being too morose or too introverted. I might not like hearing it, but sometimes it is just the wake-up call I need since I don’t always realise when I am being a morose introvert. I don’t expect my friend to go and tell everyone else I am a morose introvert and then laugh about it. That is cruel, it is not very helpful.

So why am I on the edge of this precipice? Why am I looking down?
Because I have come to the realisation the one person I need to befriend most of all is myself.
I have spent too much time catching others.

Have you caught yourself, lately?

Reflections, by Derek Harper is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0
Love and Friendship
By Sydney Smith

I am for frank explanations with friends in case of affronts
sometimes save a perishing friendship;
sometimes they even place it on a firmer basis than before.
Secret discontent always end badly.

And by the way,
we ought to remember that the word friendship applies to
relationships in the family quite as much as with outsiders.

Somebody once said that love may not be
any part of friendship
but friendship must always
exist for love to be happy.

5 thoughts on “Because We Are Friends

  1. True enough. Walking away is hard to do. Letting go is harder. Being gracefully away, without bitterness is hardest of all. I think. Wheat and chaff. I’ve reached a point in life where I’ve grown tired of having to walk away, which has slowly made me slower to trust than I’d like to be. If heaven were a thing, I’d like to think of myself as open and Frank, but in this world it’s taken for weakness.

    Still. I have a long list of folk whom I’d be there for, if I thought it was needful. Even if it can become spiritual usury – a very stark point you’ve made. But what I won’t, is beg to be needed. Not worth the cost of your soul.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have dwindled my list down rather severely but at the end of the day, I would be simply wrong to let a previous friend jump off a cliff. Our natures allow for a certain amount of bartering but we often forget to draw the line. True friends are hard fought and need to be well kept. The rest are passing acquaintances. Perhaps I am a little too cynical.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Zero Lift-Off and commented:
    Beautifully profound writing and pinpoint accuracy as to what the big dilemma out in the population is right now! Not only is it clearly what you have masterfully explained, but add to this perspective the truth of how we are living in a “culture of death,” a rampant disposable society kind of world view by the multitudes now, which exponentially magnifies the problem at hand!

    I do not panic when I have myself for company, I’ve never had that problem since my childhood to now; I learned to depend on myself rather than cling to anyone, and just take responsibility for me, as I hope others around me will do also, for themselves.

    I learned for a few reasons very young what I now like to see and refer to by this Scripture about being alone.

    John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

    Amplified Bible
    I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]

    I love this passage, a hitting the old nail on the head piece of writing!

    “And we, the loyal friends, we wait. We bide our time, silly and stupid, waiting our turn to be an “innie” again. We console ourselves by thinking, “well, I will always be the one, I am reliable, I am always here, that makes me the true friend… when he/she needs me, he/she will always find me here…” We make ourselves believe that by sacrificing our own self-worth.”

    Right and add to that being a big “sucker” or so easily made to play the fool for others who are being so foolish while you’re supposed to be playing the doormat for them, they step in the dog shit and they are right back unloading it!

    “True friendship is hard to find and not easy to hold on to.”

    I can add most assuredly it is like “a needle in a haystack!” Sure fools spout off all day on the internet how they have all these friends and they talk bullshit; those are not friends or even acquaintances they are “being delusional;” because of their habitual diversionary lifestyle of not facing themselves; though that much I can also assure them!

    This passage I must quote also because it serves as a true measure of friendship over time and our personal trials!

    “Letting friends go is a necessary part of life – there are those who will stay with you forever. You will always find a way back to each other, no matter what the distance. And you will come back to each other with fresh ideas, new thoughts and different perspectives. Your relationship will not suffer, it will only bloom and carry through the next steps of life.”

    True friendship develops over time through personal dedicated investment and life experience with one another through the good, bad and the ugly times; building individual character and intestinal fortitude!

    Understanding these things as you have explained them here is being a true friend to yourself, if you are living it! And I agree it will bring “the inner peace we all need,” but most don’t want it bad enough due to their human foibles and seeking the path of least resistance; so they avoid it; because it is a tough challenge and they would rather take the diversionary path in life living in a delusion, what I personally have always called “the potheads” since my teen years which I had “no part” of in my head!

    May Peace, Comfort and Joy always be with You. Amen.

    Brother in Christ Jesus,
    Lawrence Morra III

    Liked by 2 people

    1. True friendship does come with time and should be able to withstand it, no matter what the situation. We should not surround ourselves with people just because we do not want to be alone, but sometimes it is hard to figure out why we are lonely when we are surrounded by people.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree and I think it’s somewhat like running away from our personal problems or even insecurities, by keeping distracted rather than facing head-on what needs to be sorted out in order to feel secure and have some peace of mind with one’s self. Alcoholics I think are a prime example of this kind of person who won’t get a grip and falls into a perpetual cycle of denial.

        My Dad always told me growing up that “you have to learn to care about and love yourself first, in order to have self-respect before you can do it properly for someone else.” Learning to live up to one’s obligations and responsibilities isn’t always easy to do in practice; taking the path of least resistance or laziness can be a stumbling block, thus the way people use each other is too common.

        Personally since I was a kid I liked self-sufficiency; taught myself how to do some serious repair work on cars as soon as I got a driver’s license at16, but I wouldn’t recommend that for everyone as it could be dangerous if proper care and sensibility aren’t applied at all times! And I did like watching older guys with experience doing such things along with being a quick study, all of which helped me a lot.

        Like

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