Wednesday, 15 June 2011

That's what friends are for

One of my very good chums is being very brave just now. I don’t need to name names (you know who you are!) but I have found it very inspiring indeed and feel privileged that she lets me be her friend. It has also prompted me to ponder a few things and the question I keep asking myself is this: Who told us that we must always be fine?

We have these funny notions that to be a good friend/family member/employee we must be a self sufficient, wonder woman who never has an off day, never struggles and is always smiling/making gourmet dinners/being wonderfully creative/generally kicking life’s butt. I count myself in that number!

Most of all we feel we must be in control of our lives to be considered successful. We must get married at the right time, get the right promotion, have a baby – whatever it is.  But here’s the thing - we are never in control. The world has all sorts of plans for us and life is going to get tricky at one stage or another. The brave people are the ones who ask for help, who have humility enough to admit they don’t have all the answers and that they need other people to help them through.

Because we all need each other. Which one of us was built to be alone? None of us! And true friends love to be there for one another. We spend our time thinking about our friends and family; we worry about them, feel proud of them, celebrate the highs and join them in the lows. It is a privilege to be part of their lives. I once heard that marriage is like embarking on a PhD with your lifelong thesis being to understand your partner, as only by really knowing them can you encourage them to seek the very best in their life. I think friendship is like that too. We work to understand each other because we want the best for our friends. Asking for help is just helping along the process and it is a good thing to do.

I have a blackboard in my kitchen that has this message on it:

Every time I see this firstly I have a little chuckle and secondly I think my goodness how true is that?! Because do any of us really know what we’re doing? And don’t we need one another to navigate the maze that is life? I’ve come to think that it’s not a lack of problems that makes us strong or admirable, it’s how we overcome the problems that we have. That’s what makes for someone to look up to.

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