Friendship . . .is a virtue and is besides most necessary with a view to living.
Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods. –Aristotle
Earlier this week, I lost the very first friend I made in college to cancer. Our relationship was one of the special friendships where the conversation always flowed no matter how much time had passed. While reflecting with others about the friendship we shared, I realized that she was a sister to me in so many ways. We laughed. We fought. We cried. We learned. We survived. Because of this and other close friendships I have been blessed with, my hope for my children has always been that at any given time in their lives, they have ONE good friend who will love and support them through the good, the bad, and the unknown.
What makes some friendships survive the years, but others are fleeting? What is it about some individuals that they become your family? Can you identify those friends who have become your family? What distinguishes the relationship from more casual ones?
Each of us spends time and energy on multiple relationships throughout our day. We invest energy and time in those that we value most. Friendships teach us about who we are, what our values are, and what really matters to us. Encourage your children and family members to foster the friendships that are healthy, and take time to model for them the value of being a good friend. When evaluating your friendships and those of your family members, ask yourself if the relationship is healthy or unhealthy. If the relationship is harmful emotionally or physically, please end the relationship. It is okay to intervene for your loved one (or to listen if someone is intervening for you).
- Open Communication
- Respect Boundaries
- Like Yourself
- Enjoy What Makes You Different
- Resolve Problems
- Fighting Fair
Take some time today to let your friends know how much you love them. Be grateful for the family that you have been given through these friendships.