Weekly Gems from Ronda Gates.
I don't think of myself as a TV fan, but I do tune in weekly to HBO's Six Feet Under-the somewhat dark drama about the lives of people who own, live and work in a funeral home. Tonight, as the season ended, it explored deep feelings between all the characters. For some reason it triggered thoughts about the meaning of valuable friendships and the deep feelings they incite.
I believe our friends are a mirror to our soul. If you want to know something about me you can look at the people with whom I enjoy spending my "free time," the people with whom I laugh and cry, the people I can count on to be there for me in the good and bad times.
On first glance there is no pattern to my friendships. Some seem able to finish my sentences and others don't share my political views. Although most are active and healthy, I've a few who live a sedentary life. Some have Mensa IQ's or prestigious degrees and others didn't finish high school. Some are wealthy and others seem to be constantly struggling to make ends meet. I can describe all as "good people."
There is one thread that signals friendship for me. The first is that unalterably "I'm home" feeling I get when I'm with that person-whether I see or talk to them often or we cross paths infrequently. This weekend I crossed paths with someone I hadn't seen for years. Within minutes we fell into relaxed giggles and banter that wiped away the distance of time. Another friend who knew I was grieving a loss sent me a perceptive Email card and another asked logical questions and had good solicited feedback during a telephone conversations. (A reminder that events do not cause feelings, our interpretation of them does.) Although I love my family, these experiences reminded me that we are born into families but we grow into friendships. Once forged, like the characters in the TV drama, they ebb and flow through the trials and tribulations that life delivers.
I've a couple of pertinent quotes attached to the monitor of this computer. One reads, "When choosing friends, hear the words, watch the actions," reminding me daily to spend time with people who energize and support rather than drain and sabotage me. Those words also remind me that to have a good friend I must be one.
If you find yourself looking for support as you face the challenges of change this week, consider whose company makes you feel "at home."
Perhaps, like me, you will enjoy a poem about Friendship by Dinah Maria Mulcock Criak
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