If you have children, or if you have ever been a child, you know that friendships can be hard, and great friendships can be hard to find.  Learning to share your favorite toys, taking turns, and saying that you are sorry is all part of the process.  As we navigate our way through middle school, we learn more about being a good friend.  What it feels like to have a friend stick up for you in a crowd, to hold you a spot at the lunch table, and to tell you when you have something stuck in your braces.  Sometimes those first best friends are with you into adulthood, and sometimes our friends change as we grow and also change.  We all seek to find that real friend who will be with us through thick and thin.  She tells you when you can find a more flattering pair of jeans, help you find the courage to quit a job that you hate going to, and loves you enough to tell you when the boyfriend you are chasing after, is no good for you. How lucky we are if we have found a best friend.
Jim Rohn famously said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. There is an inherent truth to that, as we, as social creatures, pick up on the habits, behaviors, and attitudes of those around us. What that means is that if you want the strength and positivity to get through anything, you must keep your circle of friends and associates as healthy as you can. Wherever possible, you must remove toxic relationships from your life, regardless of how tough it may be. And in situations such as work where you many not have control, you must learn how to practice positivity so its spreads to those around you.
The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn’t, matters not a jot. The possibility is always there.Monica Baldwin
"Every friendship travels at sometime through the black valley of despair. This tests every aspect of your affection. You lose the attraction and the magic. Your sense of each other darkens and your presence is sore. If you can come through this time, it can purify with your love, and falsity and need will fall away. It will bring you onto new ground where affection can grow again." John O'Donohue

We are so often hit with negativity—negative news, negative perspectives—from pessimistic people that it might seem next to impossible to continue on with a positive spirit. Instead of getting stuck in the negativity, turn to those habitually optimistic people who have figured out how to see the brighter side of life and remain positive no matter what… so you can learn to do the same.
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. Henri Nouwen
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