My grandma and childhood best friend died before Christmas. Just a few months ago we were still chatting nightly on Facebook messenger. I knew that the cancer she was fighting was real, but it didn’t seem real when we were telling each other stories.
Some of the more recent exchanges were about friendship. She told me about her best friend, someone she called a “soul sister”. I asked her what made her worthy of the title? She responded by quickly typing a few of the more hilarious moments they shared and some of the more difficult experiences too.
“Grandma, how do I know friendship is real? How do I know if I’m being a good friend?” (Questions people still ask at 40.)
“Brookie, don’t worry so much about what people say, pay attention to what they actually do.”
If words could be a clarion call, they became one for me that night.
Friendship is active, visible through what people do.
The qualities visible in friendships can be a foreshadow of the future.
I see it. My grandma wanted me to know it. Friendship is real and it’s effects are more than we often notice. I’m thinking about the wisdom I heard recently around the idea that you’ll become a lot like the five people who are closest to you. Am I choosing with intention? Because what I see is likely a reflection of who I’m going to become.
Are you you choosing friendships that kill your soul or are you choosing friendships that bring you back from the dead? Are you a friend who brings life to others or someone who never looks up long enough from your own life to see the people you would like to love in front of you?
Friendship is an exercise of honesty, connection, and grace.
Friends are the people you become like and the people who like you.
Friends want to be in your life, know about your life, are willing to respond to your life no matter how insignificant or incredible it becomes.
Take a mintue with me to write down your friendship idenity. It matters so much that we’d think about how we add value to others and what kind of future we will have when we decide who we will spend our time with.
- I’m the kind of friend who will…
- My friends are the kinds of people who…
- My future looks (insert adjective)…..because (insert names) are a part of my life shaping it with their influence.
- I will be there for (insert name or names) by… (insert activity)
- Gratitude will be the word on my lips when I remember (insert names) in my thoughts or prayers.
I don’t think any of us will ever be the epitome of friendship. But I believe all of us can be an expression of friendship if we really show up for it, let ourselves be seen, and give our whole selves to trying.