Circle of friends…

friends (2)Take a look at the people in your life that you are surrounded by… Not just your family, but your friends. Friends being much like family for most people. Only difference being they may not be blood related, or adopted, or married in… Friends choose to be in one another lives. Choose being the operative word here. If they are there, it’s because you are someone worthy of friendship. How many of you have friends still in your lives since childhood? I know very many who personally do, and so many that I am blessed to still have incredible friendships with for 20-30-40 years… This is a very true reflection of who you are, how you treat people, and how much you value yourself. I also know many people on the flip side of that coin, that aren’t surrounded by anyone they grew up with, even though they live in the very same town that they grew up in… Friends who live on the same island, same city, state, etc that they went to High School at, yet they have no friends from those days. Again a reflection of the same.

Friendship is a treasure. It’s something each person needs to value and cherish, as they do themselves and their friend. People who have issues with themselves, often attract and surround themselves by others that are lost as well. These bonds don’t hold true. Example if you are a drug addict, do you hang out with straight lace, family value type of people, or do you hang out with other druggies? A lot of times you don’t wanna be judged so you surround yourself by people who are more in the same boat, so to speak. I’ve seen first hand over the years many people who’ve went down rougher roads and weren’t making choices that best served them, or their kids, or the life they were created for. Often they were still surrounded by friends since childhood days, but as friends try and help, and help us to own our bad choices when we make them, and don’t want to see loved ones killing themselves with drugs, or other dangerous behavior, often friendships fall apart. One of two things happens. Friends get tired of trying to help as well as watching someone they love kill themselves slowly each day. Or the person making the bad choices can’t handle friends being honest with them, and having a genuine love and care for them, so they bail on the friendship. How can someone who doesn’t love themselves accept and appreciate someone else loving and caring so much about their life?

We were put on this earth to love unconditionally. We must first love ourselves as such, before we can truly know what it is to share that with anyone else. Respect yourself, own your choices and your behavior. Value the people who are there for you with all you are. If you have been blessed to make mistakes in this life, bad choices, and still have solid friends who stand beside you, honor and value them with every ounce of who you are. And remember it’s no ones place to judge anyone else, their lives, or their choices. You don’t have to agree or like what others you care for do, but you have to respect that the choices they make, are THEIRS to make. At the end of the day Friends are also one of the most forgiving creatures you’ll ever be blessed to have as well… As much as a true friend should give tough love when needed, they most certainly know the importance of forgiveness when needed too. But remember before others can forgive you, you must first forgive yourself.

Your circle of friends should be ones that bring about positive in your life, and that you bring just as much to in their life. They should be people you are proud to share your smiles, laughter, tears and hearts with. I am beyond thankful for the incredible circle of friends I’ve been blessed with all throughout my life. And I love that they are all people who tell it just like it is, and own their own lives. I love that when they ask me my opinion or thoughts on something, and I give it straight up whether they like what I’m saying or not, they know it comes from a place of love and are never offended! Friends have to be honest with one another. If you feel the need to lie to a friend, then you are also in turn lying to yourself. Don’t ever be the kind of person who just says what you think people want to hear. That is not being a friend. That isn’t being honest either. If your life is in a place that you aren’t happy with and friends are all trying to tell you this or help you, see it for what it is. Let people help you. Don’t bail, don’t run, don’t deny and avoid when someone gives it to you straight. Be grateful that you have anyone in your life that gives a @hit enough to do so… And if you just aren’t in a place in your life where you are ready to listen, to change, and to make better choices, then be honest with yourself and your friends and tell them exactly that. No one can change for anyone else in this life, no matter how much love and kindness is offered, change is something that has to be something you truly want.

Friendship should always be based on love, honesty, truth, compassion, kindness, understanding, forgiveness… there is no place in it for judgement, rules, orders or bullying. Loving someone unconditionally means accepting them for exactly who they are, whether you approve and/or agree with the choices they make. It doesn’t however mean you sit bye idly watching people destroy themselves, their lives, or the lives of others. You can still love people, want the very best for them, but choose to release them from your life, if they are bringing toxins into your life. Sometimes we have to let go, not how much we want to fix, help and make all things better for others. If a friend continually stands at the edge of a cliff, and you’re there every day reaching your hand out to pull them up, and instead of taking it to climb back up, they grab it to pull you down there with them, you have to really ask if they are a friend to you. Many years ago one of my dearest friends in this life was in that situation in so many ways… I finally tied a rope to the bumper of the car, and tossed it down their way. I said when you are ready to climb up, all you have to do is put one hand over the over. But I can no longer lend you mine.

Bottom line- you cannot help someone unless they are willing to help themselves. No matter how much you love them, they must love themselves enough to want to live…

In order to have a true friend, you must be a true friend…

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