From our Special Correspondent...
Someone once told me that friends come into your life for one of three things, “a reason, a season, or for life”.
Time and again this has been proven to me over the years and knowing that friendships work this way has certainly helped me understand why some people stay around and others simply move on. I find its best not to judge people’s intentions early on, time will tell where they fit into your journey and where you fit into theirs.
With every life change we make, or is made for us, we get the opportunity to enrich our souls with the influence of others. Having a common interest or goal, sharing a life event or being in a similar situation to that of a neighbour is often the way to forge a natural friendship,
Over the years we all meet life changing challenges both positive and not so, the growth of a family, a new job, the death of a loved one, maybe divorce, or possibly the diagnosis of a medical condition or chronic illness. These events have us searching for advice, help and comradery, the consequence of which can lead to many new friendship opportunities. Some of these friendships will be for a reason, purposeful and short, just long enough to share information. Others might grow with us for a season, teach us more and then leave. And then there are those friendships that are destined to last us a lifetime. Of course it’s more than coincidence that makes us pursue a deeper relationship with some and not others, it’s more than just being in the right place at the right time but it’s our life events that offer up the possibilities.
Let’s talk about the “lifers”. Those people that come to you for a reason or a season and never leave. If you have them, and hopefully we all do, you will understand when I talk about the strength they offer. My “lifers” are always there, often in the background but always a constant influence. I’m a huge fan of strong, independent thinkers and I love the challenges they bring to a relationship. Of course I also like to feel kindness and compassion but I think it’s good to be questioned and encouraged to be the best version of yourself. The perspective of others is invaluable, but you have to trust the person that brings it to you. I can definitely say that my “lifers” are my trustees and have often been my saviours over the years. They’ve supported, counselled and helped me through some of my most difficult history and at the same time we’ve shared the best times, the most fun and some momentous milestones. As much as I look to them for their support I look to support them too. Hopefully over the years I’ve been able to receive and repay their love in equal measures.
So I guess if I’ve learnt anything about friendship it would be to welcome it in whatever form it comes to you. Nurture each opportunity, it may teach you a lesson or give you the chance to be the teacher. We all come with a unique set of life skills and being able to share those with others can expand our collective knowledge beyond anything we might learn first-hand. Let go of those friendships that don’t come easy, it’s fine, it’s not a failure, it’s part of your journey and part of theirs. Most importantly, hold on to those “lifers” and don’t forget to remind them of their value in your world.