Yet another lady I met through the Be Happy Link Up, Carmen (Mrs. ShuGar) inspires me every week to love life and live passionately. I relate so much to the lessons in love and life she writes about on her blog. I was so happy when Carmen threw her hand up in the air to volunteer to guest post while I'm away. It's easy to be confident about someone when you know what they say is from the heart.
One of my favorite I Love Lucy episodes is the one where Lucy & Ethel fight over wearing the same dress while performing the song, “Friendship.” I adore that crazy red head. Lucy & Ethel are the best of friends and it’s evident in the unconditional love they have for each other, despite their occasional hiccups.
Something happens when you get older; You inevitably lose friends. It’s a symptom of life and its many transitions, but it’s bound to happen to all of us at some point. The more I age, the smaller my inner circle gets and I am 100% ok with it. It’s not high school anymore where you want to be friends with every single person in the room. Lately, I’ve lost dear friends who I would have considered my “Ethels.” As painful as this transition has been, I am slowly coming to terms with the loss.
In this process, I have learned what the definition of friendship is. It’s really very simple, but, apparently, hard to find and sustain. If you do have someone in your life who you would consider a true friend, you are very lucky. Friendship can enhance your happiness ten-fold.
In my experience, a true friend…
Never LeavesDespite our busy schedules or distance, a real friend will always stick around no matter what. Especially in today’s world, any person is just a click or phone call away. There is no reason to ever break contact over long periods of time, if you value the friendship. A phone call every six months, an email every month, really anything to show you care and are thinking about the person.
Is By Your Side During the Dark TimesIt’s so easy to be around someone when things are peachy. How about when you are drowning in tears and you don’t want to see the light of day? Who will help you get up? Who will make sure you eat three meals a day? Those very special friends who remain near you during difficult times will. I believe this is the time when a friendship is truly tested. Oh, and the friend also withholds judgment during this time.
Looks Out for Your Interests, Even When it’s Not the Popular OpinionThis can cause contention in friendships, but it demonstrates the love between friends. A true friend will support you, but challenge you if s/he thinks you are making wrong choices. This friend will not keep quiet if you are dating someone unworthy of your heart. This same friend would also speak up if s/he knows your partner is being unfaithful. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s characteristic of someone who truly loves you.
Celebrates Your HappinessUgh. I have lost many of friends because of this one. A real friend will honor your joy by vicariously experiencing happiness for you. This is not challenging when the friend is already happy. It’s a testament of a real friendship when your friend is not in the best of places emotionally, but still manages to have a genuine happy feeling for you. Jealousy & envy do not factor into a true friendship.
If you have an “Ethel” in your life, make sure you cherish this person and never take him/her for granted. It’s such a gift to have a true friend in your life. I am not the type of person to need many friends at my age. One “Ethel” would suffice. If you already have one, smile. Even better, give this friend a call and tell your friend you are my “Ethel” and the reason I smile.
Lots of Love,