Good, strong friendships can make our lives immeasurably richer.
Good friends are rare. We have hundreds, maybe thousands, of acquaintances, many associates, but few real friends. Real friends are those we freely select, and for this reason they play a special part in our lives. They provide us with joy, comfort and caring. And because our time with them is limited to relatively short periods together, friendships give us a breather from the intensity of our full-time, primary relationships.
When we have made a good friend, we have shared our deepest thoughts and feelings, and we have also developed shared respect and affection. These things can last a lifetime, surviving great distances in time and space. But, like your primary relationships, good friendships are not merely for comfort and support. They are vital threads that keep us connected to the world.
Friends lead us gently into new areas of growth by helping us see our problems and ourselves from another perspective. Good friends are always there, challenging us when they see us moving in harmful directions. It’s important to remember, though, that friendships, like any relationship, need attention and nurturing if they are to remain strong and healthy.
How are your friendships doing? Are you going the extra mile to make sure your friends know how important they are to you?