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Friendship – the Varied Bonds that People Share


Friends are our lifeline, our most ardent supporters, our reinforcement in the belief that we matter. Friends add meaning to our life, joy to our reality, laughter and camaraderie to our world.

Yet how come at times the bonds of friendship can seem overly complex, dramatic or sometimes even disappointing?

Are our expectations about the meaning and bond of friendship too high? Personally, I think that yes, we want each friendship to be absolutely perfect, to meet all our needs. Yet, how can each bond of friendship measure up to such lofty ideals? When we demand perfection, we set ourselves up for failure.

In my own life experience, I have learned (and am still learning) to release some of those preconceived expectations regarding what I want/need in a friend.

The basic requirement is now very simple: if you wish to be my friend, be supportive of me, and my life path.

That’s all there is to it.

However, one needs to accept the knowing that there will be friends who completely support our life paths — and those who may not be so overtly encouraging, but love us nevertheless and allow us to follow our journey without judging.

But this also includes the notion that you must not be a “fair weather friend.” If times get tough, I expect you to be there for me in whatever way you are capable — and that is certainly different things for different people.

I used to have some clear friendship requirements, such as a friend must call me so often (every day/every week) or they wouldn’t measure up to my standards of communication frequency.

I now am accepting of friends who call me regularly and friends who contact me occasionally. As long is there is some joyful connection every once in awhile, I am okay with that. However, when I have called a few times and get no callback — that is a clear indicator of a lag or disinterest in the friendship on the part of the other person.

I used to believe that a friend needed to share the very same interests as me — but I have discovered that this is not always a necessity. Though it IS helpful in terms of understanding each other.

Friends come in a very expansive variety with a multitude of perspectives and world views. And I have found that I now tend to think of friends as being in a range of categories.

For instance, there are:

• Common interest, like-minded friends — For me these may be my spiritual, Reiki and healing Practitioner friends. For others it may be friends who share the same type of work, similar hobbies, etc. You may meet these people while doing the activities you enjoy or the work-related tasks that comprise your life.

• Lifestyle friends — These are people whose presence in your reality enhances or complements your life in some way. These are people with whom you feel joyful and comfortable. People who are going-out-to-dinner friends, friends you take ski vacations with, ones who you share a specific segment of life with, but perhaps no deeper connection than that. Yet these friendships can be very enlivening, uplifting and sustaining.

• Long term friends – these are the friends that have been with us for much of our life journey, through ups and downs, highs and lows, marriages and divorces, births and deaths. These are often our core friends, ones who will lend a sympathetic ear (or shoulder.) Friends with whom we can pretty much share anything with authenticity. These friends truly KNOW us, what we are about, and have persevered through all life’s uphill battles by our side. As of course we have reciprocated that same sentiment of dedication to them.

• Acquaintances — this category encompasses a multitude of interesting individuals who grace our lives, some nearby to us and some in other geographic areas. This category can include some of our Facebook friends, those who LIKE our joyful posts and photos as we enjoy visiting their pages and participating in their life on the net. This category also encompasses in-person individuals who are more on the periphery of our life. These cannot neatly fit into any of the above categories. They are not major players in our lives, but there is some connection they offer that clearly resonates with us.

We can gain insight, exhilaration, and optimism from our friends. They help teach us life lessons and they absolutely enrich our lives.

So let us offer them kindness, consideration, appreciation, and of course, our love and reciprocation of their devotion and connection to us. Our  journey here on planet Earth would be very lonely and solitary without our many bonds of friendship…


  • I appreciate my friends and verbally express my gratitude for their presence in my life.
  • I treat my friends with kindness and caring, the way that I would like them to treat me.
  • I respect the life journeys of my friends, and am supportive along their unique and diverse paths.

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