Friendship. Whether you think about it on a regular basis or not, we all have our own rules to friendship. From time to time we all have to define what friendship really means.
Webster’s Dictionary defines being a friend as “one attached to another by affection or esteem.” But I think we all know that friendship is more than a simple definition in a dictionary.
I’ll be honest. I am 40 plus years old and up until just two years ago, I never had a best friend. I never knew that intimate relationship that is described by Aristotle as a single soul dwelling in two bodies.
I have been stabbed in the back so many times by people through out my life that I just normally put up a wall and hide the intimate details and dreams that I have in my life. As much as I wanted to share those parts of my life, I never had that person or persons that I felt that at home with. When you have a person in your life that makes you feel so comfortable, so at peace, so at ease in your own skin, you can’t help but to bring your guard down.
“In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” Albert Schweitzer
'Friendship is having a person that relights that fire' is just one of the definitions that I have learned in recent years.
One of the other definitions is "Friendship is never letting a friend drink alone." We all go through crap in our lives. No matter if you are just pulling the covers over your head when a friend calls just a few strokes from midnight, if they are having one of those crap nights, you join them at the bar, at the restaurant or where ever. I consider this a true honor for someone to turn to you in a time of need.
In these times, you freely give a shoulder to cry on or an ear to chew on. Everything else in your world fades away and you freely focus on that other person. There is no other place on earth you need to be at that moment in time except at their side. Friendship always comes first!
Over the past few months I have searched the internet for quotes on friendship in an effort to add to my growing list of definitions of friendship. I also recently asked some of my fellow bloggers here at ChicagoNow to give me their impressions, rules, definitions of what friendship means to them. Here is what they had to say.
“A true friend will never judge you, and will stand by you no matter what.” – Tara from Red & Company
God only knows the amount of judgment cast my way through out my life. There are some really dear people in my life that I thank God for that have stuck with me regardless of the choices I have made and directions my life has gone. True friendship rises above all that and stands with you in fierce loyalty in joy and fear.
“The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.” – Ulysses S. Grant
“A friend laughs at your jokes, even when they're terrible” – Jenna from High Gloss and Sauce
“A true friend never tears someone down in order to build themselves up.” - Icarus from Mysteries of Life
“A good friend, will give you "THE EYES" and ask you to join her in the Ladies Room. She will then proceed to tell you what you need to know (i.e. the guy is a sleaze, her skirt is on backwards, she needs a little lipstick, or her jokes are hysterical and to keep it up).” – Erin from South of I80
I love this Erin! Erin has hit on a couple key aspects I truly enjoy and expect from a close friend. One is a friends open and unhesitantly honesty. Even though there are times I really don't want to hear it, my best friend is always open and honest with her thoughts. It has caused some friction at times but we always find a way past it.
The other aspect Erin touched on was that honesty doesn't always have to be displayed publicly. A true friend will pull you aside and share his or her insight. The intimacy of friendship is not always for public viewing.
“A true friend is a friend indeed, someone you can depend on to be there no matter what, you know they have your back in every situation.” - E.F. Coleman from Boomer with a View
“Friends let you suffer in their presence and don't demand that you make it "all better" for them.” – Kerri from Cancer is not a Gift
Going through a major life change is very similar to when precious metals are purified. Change can a be like a fire that burns away all those in our life that dull our existence. They are burned up and poured away so that the final product can shine.
“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”- Walter Winchell
It is during the trials, the challenges and the changes in our lives that we learn who are friends are.
We see it in ways as the casual intimacy of someone eating the mushrooms you have picked off your pizza. We see it in those that sit with you when you face your ex discussing divorce issues. They are the friends holding your hand as you take the stage, facing your fears.
Having that person who sees all of your quirks, all of your crap, the humor and the bad habits, yet loves you anyway is what you call a friend. The person that rejoices in your triumphs, cries with you in your trials, pushes you to reach for the stars - that is what you call a friend. The person that willingly walks through the fire of life with you is what you call a friend.
I would love to know how you define friendship. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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