Friday, June 12, 2009

True Friendship, like love, should be unconditional

In honor of Friendship week, I wrote this one a while back but I think it's worth a to all my friends who have touched my life and made me who I am today. Thank you for your constant support and laughter that helps me get through the day, including my husband who is truly my best friend...(please share with all your friends as well)...

I think that women more than men, feel defined by their relationships - with their families, their significant others and especially their girlfriends. What would we be as women without our girlfriends? Since we were little we relied on our girlfriends when the rest of the world was against us. Whether our parents were being unreasonable, our siblings were being mean and of course the boy we loved had just broken our heart, our girlfriends were there to cry with us, listen to us talk about it for hours and tell us how amazing we were no matter what. They were the only ones who really "got" us, who laughed with us till we cried and who kept all of our secrets. At times, they were the most important people in our lives hands down. Then we got older, got married and had kids. And while there are now others to compete for that honor, we still need our girlfriends as much as ever. Life as a wife and mother can be challenging to say the least and sometimes just talking to our girlfriends can help talk us off the ledge and face another day.

By the time you reach my age, if you have chosen your friends wisely and always tried to be a good friend in return, you will probably have 4-5 truly good friends. Some you will have been friends with since you were 3, some you met in high school or college and if you are really lucky, some you met that share your daily life. When I look back on the friends I have that I consider my closest friends, some things ring true for each relationship.

First, it hasn't always been easy. As in any good relationship, there are ups and downs. And when it comes to girls, things can get pretty dicey. We have had our run-ins about guys, secrets and other friends. We have had times when we weren't that close and wondered if we would find our way back. We have had moments when we felt betrayed and times when we felt ashamed for having been the one to betray. But a true friendship makes it through the storm and comes out stronger on the other side.

Second, it is unconditional. No one is perfect and nobody knows that better than our friends. But that is why they love us so much. We can be crazy, emotional, even needy and our girlfriends will step up and love us anyway. In fact, that is why our friends love us - for all the quirky things that make us who we are. They love us when we do questionable things and they love us when we have no make-up on. And the best part is that they understand us in a way that our others never could.

Third, and perhaps most important - They make our life better by being part of it. A friend is a true friend if their friendship adds value to our life. Think about that for a second. There are people who have come and gone and who have just taken up space in our lives. People who have taken and never given back. People who make us question our value or try to make us feel bad about ourselves so they feel better. As we get older we realize that we just don't have time or energy for those people anymore which in turn leaves more room for our true friends. A true friend should know how to make you laugh through the tears. She should make you chicken soup when you are sick or tell you look great in those new jeans. She should be the one you know you can count on on your darkest day without question. After all, she is the one for whom you would walk to hell and back.

True friends are a blessing. I love my friends and am happy to give to them in any way I can because they make my life better. I hope that as you read this, you are lucky to have good friends like I have in your life.

(Okay, forgot that one made me cry a little...)

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