Best Friends

bloomscan010Note… This blog was first published on 9/30/11. In that first month, I had about 20 subscribers so  I chose to post it again. There will be a fresh one  soon.

I hang up on from a phone call with a very good friend and I feel full of gratitude that she is  well and happy, that I am well and happy, and that we are in each other’s lives. Over the past twenty years we have been through many changes but our friendship has always been there. We have supported each other through good and not so good times. There have been laughs and tears and lots of shared history. My life is richer because of my friend.

Good friends are really important and they must be nurtured in order to thrive. When I was a girl, switching “best friends” whenever we got a new hobby was common. So was  dropping our girlfriends when we got a new boyfriend and I can remember how that could hurt.

Growing up means treating friends as though they are appreciated. Our good, long lasting friendships are precious. If we are not careful, we forget to tell them how much they mean to us. We should also understand that there are times when we need to be there for a good friend when they are in need, even if it is inconvenient. Friendship is definitely reciprocal if it is to work over a long time.

Treasuring a good friend is a lot different from building a network for our business or social ambitions. It is also different from loving our family because they were born to be our connections. Making friends involves choices and choosing good friends is a consequence of knowing who we are. There are plenty of people on Facebook and they may be listed as friends but it takes time and common experiences to develop a real friendship.

Not all friends from the past need to be carried into your world of today. It is wonderful to keep your friends from high school or college but if you want a healthy balance you will have to develop some new ones along the way. Especially as we age, people’s lives and situations, as well as interests, change. Some move away, some change, some die, some simply take a different path in life. So if you only stick with your old friends, you can end up with a very narrow world as time marches on.

It seems to me that we should try to cultivate new friends and, at the same time, treasure the old ones. As always, balance is the key to intelligent living. No one can have an unlimited number of close friends but beware the person who insists that he or she must be your only friend. “Best friends” works better in 7th grade than in adulthood.

One of the best ways to meet friends is to find a people you enjoy who have similar interests. These days, most of my friends are people I’ve met in my spiritual activities; once they nearly all came from my 12 Step program. Before that, most of them came from my writing activities. I still have a couple of friends from every one of those previous interests because they are a part of me and my history. Most of all, these treasured old friends have qualities that resonate in wonderful ways.

What kind of people make the best friends? I love the ones who are always there for you. They can be there in times of need and they are wonderful. On the other hand, the ones who make me laugh are fabulous. I also love the ones who are interested and excited about new ideas and activities. And then there are my deep thinker friends and my deep believer friends. It varies from day to day so I guess they are all my best friends.

Ask Yourself            

What old friend can I contact today?

What new person can I get to know better and maybe make a friend?

Do I nurture my current friendships?


7 Comments on “Best Friends”

  1. Beverly Molander says:

    Thanks, Jane. Very nice!

    Beverly Molander, MEd, CSL Focus Minister

    Host of Affirmative Prayer — Activating the Power of YES weekly radio show on Unity Online Radio

    http://www.unityonlineradio/program/AffirmativePrayer — shows are archived and can be downloaded free

    Co-author of The Best Memorial Service — for any situation, style, time or place

    (404) 876-2443 (ph) (404) 931-7333 (cell) Atlanta, GA USA

  2. Terry Drew Karanen/CSLCV says:

    This is so wonderful – thank you for “re”-sharing it! I’m actually writing this week on accepting our blessings from unexpected channels. I’m not one to believe in that one and only soul mate. I have several people in my life that I’m sure are with me for the long-haul through many lifetimes.

    Love you!

    • janeclaypool says:

      Ah Terry, You are a wonderful reader and I look forward to your blessings and your interesting comments. Keep on writing your own fascinating thoughts that I so enjoy. Love, Jane

  3. Dave Sheive says:

    Hi, Dr. Jane!! What synergy!! Dave and I have been in Rochester, NY for the past 10 days. A (literally) lifelong friend died suddenly. We went to be part of this sad process with his entire family (as we are well connected for all our life to them). They would certainly qualify as “old friends”. We got to see other dear and fun old friends as well. Then we return and you have rerun your “friends blog”. MY! What a coincidence?? Everything you said about friends is right on in our lives. I dearly love and appreciate my old friends, because we ARE still friends through all our changes and ageings. I enjoy, immensely, new friends for the delight of the newness and the joy of knowing that friends will always appear no matter where I am or how I become. There will always be friends out there for me – if I can choose to SEE them. Love, Ellen

    • janeclaypool says:

      Hi Ellen, Good to her from you while you are on your travels. I count you and Dave as a couple of my good “new & younger” friends. See you when I see you, Love, Janne

  4. Alice Ross says:

    Dear Rev. Jane,

    That was such a thoughtful message. Thank you for rememberance, that I need to remember old friends, it is just as important to make new ones. So many old friends and acquaintances have left this human sphere. If I don’t reach out to make new ones, well…
    life just ain’t much fun.

    Love ya,
    Rev. Alice Ross

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