Find The Friends who bring energy to your soul
Based upon my life the past couple of weeks........well, who am I kidding, the past couple of decades, I don't know where I would be without my friends. Funny thing, well before I had my "come to Jesus" moment, I used to pride myself on the fact that most of my friends were male. I proclaimed female friends were impossible, gossipy, shallow. When the real problem was, I wasn't taking time to find friends who fed my soul. I myself wasn't being a good friend. I wasn't willing to show vulnerability or authenticity. I hadn't learned that not every "friend" was a "good" friend.
Fast forward about 20 years and boy do I see the value and how these ladies have filled my life and fed my soul. For sure, my husband is nearest and dearest to my heart, but there are some things that I say to him to which I just get the "blank stare". He does not want to talk skin care, essential oils, hormones, periods, or any of that "nonsense". I need feedback, girls. Feedback I can only get from my sisters.
While you may be surrounded by a large circle of friends, in all reality we generally only have 1-5 that love us unconditionally. Find the friends that feed your soul and love them fiercely! Much like your marriage, your friends will likely have different strengths and weaknesses that help balance you both. These ladies should balance you, hold you accountable, and lift you up when you need it. These should be ladies that will send you straight back to the path of Jesus when you got off course. All of mine will do that.
While not all of my closest friends are friends with one another, they all have similar values to me. We love Jesus first, we love our husbands, our children, we admit our ugly and we try hard to keep one another afloat when we are drowning. We cheer each other on when we are winning. And we cry with each other when we are losing, lost, or broken.
Most importantly, we dream with each other and we encourage each other. Find these people in your life. If you are proclaiming you don't have friends, I'm telling you, go out and find them! Someone else is feeling lonely, too! You don't need to have 10, even if it's just 1, but find even just that one. Friendships are life changing.
The best way to find these friends? Showing up and being you is one way you are sure to find them. Here are some suggestions:
By being fully authentic, sharing our stories, our good, our bad, our ugly we make connections. No one wants to hang with someone who is always mess, nor do we want to hang with someone who has the perfect life. We want and crave real relationships. We want to know that sometimes you have your sh*t together, but a lot of days, you don't. Because that's real; that's relatable.
Make The Time
There are zero excuses for not making people your first priority. You need to make sure that you carve out time for for friends. There are so many excuses any more and people literally can't seem to commit to anything. If someone can't commit any time to you, they are not your person.
And while I'm at it, let me tell you something I see floating around social media that makes me insane. This little quote: "I open a text then mentally respond and forget to actually respond". Now listen, I've missed a text here or there, I've opened one and forgotten to respond and go back later. But, it's super rare. I respond very timely and if I don't, people know it's unlike me. Don't become the excuse maker or the one that "just got too busy". That only works for so long whether it's texting, calling, or meeting for lunch. People will move on. If you truly value a person, you will find the time. Cut the crap.
And also, make time for face to face time. Texting doesn't make a relationship. Dr. Albert Mehrabian did several studies on nonverbal communication. Only about 7% of our communication is conveyed through words alone. 38% of messages are conveyed through vocal elements and 55% through nonverbals (posture, facial expressions, gestures). Have REAL time with your friends.
Encourage and Hold Accountable (Make each other better)
You want to make sure that you have friends that you can be real with. Friends that lift you when you're down and that aren't afraid to tell you to fly right when you're taking a wrong path.
And you should be that for them. Through good and bad, there should be no mistaking your loyalty or her loyalty. But part of being a good friend is knowing that they cheer you on when you're winning and that they will give you a swift kick when you're falling.
How do you know?
In my experience, it doesn't take very long to figure it out. You will know when you are in the company of someone you jive with. There will be total comfort, there will be inexplicable desire to share your heart, and a desire to connect with them again. They will be people who don't look at you in shock and disgust when you share your biggest mess. The ones that you never question their loyalty, the ones that aren't afraid to contact you on your worst day and who seek you at their worst.
And finally, everyone is different. Some people may only have 1 good friend and 1 friend period. Others may have a huge circle of friends. Either way, a small or large circle, the ones that you can confide in completely uninhibited are few. So, if you haven't already, go find them. These ladies will change your life. Hold them close and love them fiercely.
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