Tuesday, February 4

Friends vs. Acquaintances 2/4/14

This is Fremont, California, where I lived as a child.
       I'm thankful for friends.  In today's culture, the word "friend" is used frequently.  In most cases those listed as such are acquaintances, really.  I prefer in-the-flesh friends to cyber ones.  A digital smile from an internet friend doesn't compare to the warmth conveyed by a friend sitting next to me. 

             A friend is someone who is available, when we're
in need. They have known us during good times and seasons not so good.  New friends may like our style, but can disappear when we are caught up life's quagmires.  I experienced someone who depleted me, wanting help in many areas, fleeing when I needed help. 

       Being an optimist, I appreciated her response.  She revealed her nature, sparing me from getting involved in an unbalanced relationship, that was neither reciprocal nor mutual.  I deserve better and enjoy better friendships than that.  I am grateful for friends who make time for me

             Old friends remain.  They are with us when life overwhelms. With them, I share a bond of a common history. 

             It's reassuring knowing connecting with those who deeply care about me.  They are incarnational ambassadors of God's love.  I love the acceptance, appreciation and closeness I receive from Balcony People.  For more about them, please click here.

Getting What We Tolerate

       I value mutuality in relationships. I started a friendship recently.  During this time, I e-mailed him once, a week-and-a-half ago.  Wednesday, we visited at a social gathering. He hadn't yet replied to the e-mail.

       This morning I called, leaving a message.  I asked if he could call back, it was my second call.  He replied within the hour. 

       I strongly believe we get what we tolerate, we train people how to treat us.  I don't use boundaries for others comply with them.  I use boundaries so that I adhere to them.  I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't specifically requested for him to return the call?  My guess is that I would still be waiting.

           You want to know a sign of a toxic relationship?  Yep, a lack of mutuality. Non-reciprocal friendships are to be avoid like who is breathing out the flu. 

Community vs. Society
        My second gratitude? I eager to gather with friends tomorrow. We can talk about anything and we accept one another unconditionally. I thrive because of my time with them. We'll share lunch together. It's great having community. 

        Community is being appreciated for who I am.  Society mainly cares about what I offer.  Community is therapeutic. If I'm not careful, society easily will consume my soul.

        I bask in the give and take, sharing of empathy, nurturing support and love I receive when with real, warm---as in live, not-digital---friends. 

       Thirdly, I'm grateful for sleep. My pattern of sleep has been affected by recent changes. I've been able to get more sleep lately. I'm thankful for rest. It restores my emotional well-being. 

 How about you?
1. How would you define a friend?
2. Do you think that Facebook friends are friends? I don't. I think they are acquaintances. I find the internet has devalued the word "friend." 

   Do you agree or disagree? 
3. What do you think are signs of a toxic relationship? 
       I'd love hearing your thoughts. Please share, we can learn from one another.

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Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.