In my life over the years, I have begun to see the remarkable importance of friendship.
Through the years of my life, my relationship with my idea of what friendship is has definitely morphed and developed. Growing up, I of course realized that friends are your chosen family and your second halves, but never really took it deeper than the surface. When I moved to Colorado, for the first time I started really carefully choosing my friends. I was no longer interested in spending time with people based on common interest, no longer willing to fill my time with people who didn’t enlighten or enhance my being.
Over my teenage years and into my early 20s, I have unfortunately seen the damage friends have done to one another. In my opinion, many take for granted the bounty presented before them. I have been witness to people my age who are oblivious to the gifts of friendship. How can this happen? Where is there a disconnect from the truest point that at the end of the day, all we have is community?
Up until the last year or so, I have “floated” between groups of people, not really allowing myself to become too too close to anyone—and realizing that I was preventing myself from deepening. Now having acted in that way for so long, I came to a point where I was willing to deepen with fewer people as opposed to staying superficial with more people. I have such a deep awareness of the impact my friends and their actions have on me.
Always eager to adhere to the golden rule (treat others as you would want to be treated), I find myself going above and beyond to help those around me. There are miraculous people in my life who I feel should be acknowledged for their contribution and beauty.
I was talking to a friend about this a few months ago, and we both cut from the same cloth. We both find ourselves feeling like we give and give to a relationship and rarely see return to the same extent. I found that I had been frustrated over this same dilemma, wishing and only hoping that my relationships would be equally satisfying on both ends. And then I came to a bountiful truth:
We cannot and should not act based on the premise that actions will be reciprocated.
I was brought up in this world to cherish the glory around me, be thankful for things I was provided, and to share my gifts with my fellow human beings. I was not taught to act for the satisfaction of appearance, acclaim or recognition. Therefore, if I act based on my heart and for nothing else than personal satisfaction, then the gifts will come back to me in their own way. Friendship is partnership and is a mutual commitment to learning, sharing experiences, laughter and love.
The gifts I give to my friends don’t have to be reciprocated really, just appreciated. If you find yourself consumed by your own personal bubble, step out of it. Recognize the gift of the day and acknowledge the beauty that someone in your life allows you to see. It speaks worlds in and of itself.
Editor: Kate Bartolotta