Friendship- How To Do It Better

Friendship- How To Do It Better

Navigating the waters of friendship can come easily for many who have had a stable upbringing and a great example of closeness among their parents’ friends.

For most of us, sustaining a healthy and long-term friendship can be exhausting and bring on the arousal of fear, insecurity or some of our deeper heart issues. Even those who have had incredible experiences and examples around them can turn sharply towards isolation after one destructive encounter with someone deeply cared about. The desire to be a part of a community and family larger than those living inside our shared four walls has been there in every human since creation.

Leaderboard Ponderings 3

We all long for a connection to others that allows us to not only gain insight and wisdom from them but also pour out of our own accomplishments the ability to help and give. Most relationships require five basic things to be healthy and sustainable.

Listen-

It’s clear when sharing something either intimate or important if there are attentive ears or not. We all want to be heard and understood. Being a listener is vital to a friendship. Body language, pause and reflection, and eye contact convince another that you are listening. It’s important to even recap what your friend is telling you, so they know you heard them clearly and thought about what they said.

Sustainable friendships (2)

Accept-

In most cases, no two people will ever share the exact same opinion on everything, and I am sure the odds decrease drastically as you add more people to the mix. Creating a healthy long-term friendship will require you to accept others as they are with no expectation of being able to change their view or opinion. Recognizing we are ALL flawed in our own way and caring for another in spite of those flaws is genuineness in friendship.

Ponderings Friendships

Respect-

Plans, conversations, and interactions won’t always go exactly how we picture them with our friends. Learning to not use manipulative or offensive language is a must to cultivate better relationships. Respect their decisions, choices, and needs. A mom who cancels on an engagement may have something deeper going on than trying to ruin your plans. Respecting their boundaries and loving them where their needs can be met will be a foundational exercise.

Friendships Ponderings

Care-

A wise man once said that if you desire to be great, you must be a servant of all. Caring for ourselves is not a bad thing, but when we unhealthily prioritize our needs above others, we are left feeling empty and unfulfilled. This idea goes against everything culture would teach us. In a world that centers around ‘me,’ finding a friend that cares deeply about you and your family can be rare. This does not mean that we don’t take care of ourselves, but when crisis strikes or the needs of our friend are pounding at the heart, we stop and care for them. Making a meal to help them after the death of a parent, showing up with a shoulder to cry on when they just discovered an unfaithful spouse, or even offering to help drive their child to school to relieve morning stress can all be simple and practical ways to show you care.

Leaderboard Ponderings 2

Trust-

In any relationship, especially in friendship, honesty is crucial. If you have ever felt betrayed because of lying and manipulation, you understand the strain it causes on your friendship. It becomes a solid brick wall separating you from their emotions, actions, and behaviors. It is the one thing that is harder to regain in a relationship than anything else. Be trustworthy and loving in your honesty to have deeper friendships.

 

There is no surefire way to create deep, long-lasting friendships. There will always be conflicting personalities, abusive relationships and those to avoid. By using these simple tips along with exercising forgiveness, commitment, and humility, you can better the friendships you do maintain and have them be life-long trustees of your heart.

 

 

 

Our Author

StevieAnne Minner is a Christian comedian who has always been a bit of a goofball.  “Quick-witted and punny” is what those closest to her would say. A published writer, stand-up comedian, mother and talented columnist is a loveable gem of the Ponderings Team.

Tyler Durdon and Jingle Bells

Christmas was lovely, truly quiet, memorable and overwhelming. I was very very pleased and grateful to be with my family this Christmas. Honestly how lame does that sound? Pleased and Grateful, biggest understatement of the year. It was so huge in my heart I thought it would break in half the sight of my kids unwrapping their gifts. Having dinner at the table and saying grace I thought I would burst into tears. It felt like every atom in my body was grateful and split . I am being very honest, it hurt a little and it felt amazing. Everything feels a little bit different these days and I feel like I am getting used to new skin, nothing is as it was and I doubt it ever will be again.

So now Christmas is fading with a very large wilting Christmas tree that has seen better days and looks like a hungover Grandpa. How would I know? I’ve seen a few of them over the Chrissy break! (Grandpas) and New Years is upon us as well as the lengthy school holidays.

The school holidays are smack bang here in my house. I have looked forward to these holidays for months. What was I thinking? Its a bit like labour with subsequent children, you forget about the pain of labour and the intensity and then you get your second contraction; what in the name of god was I thinking?

Week 3 and I don’t know what your house is like, mine is like Mortal Kombat revisited with a touch of Fight Club and Big Bang Theory, its an interesting combination. Tis the season for Verbal Annihilation; “ITS MY TURN…..MUUUUUUM!”
So I am left with a couple of options
A) I can keep them so busy they don’t even have time to whisper “water” and they fall into bed exhausted at the end of the day, whilst at the same time I wipe out my bank balance
B) put up a homemade boxing ring in the lounge room, give them some gloves, lock myself in the bedroom and drink G&Ts until their father gets home.

I’m kidding, I think its really healthy for them to debate, learn some compromising skills and battle out the details of some fair trade agreements. So far we have Gordon Gekko, Barnaby Joyce and quite possibly Margaret Thatcher in process, its going to get totes interesting… (see what I mean…im even starting to sound like them) lol

Do you ever imagine other families and think surely they must be sitting around singing kumbaya and plaiting each other’s hair? A monopoly game here has the scale to turn into a power house take down on global proportions. I sometimes look at other families and compare. Comparison, now there’s a finicky word, you can sink your teeth into that one, its very sinewy and likely to get caught in your teeth. I ponder how much of the human race’s issues come from Comparison? Gosh there’s a thesis in that!

Just the other day I heard someone over drinks talk enviably with a teency dash of sharp edge-ness “Oh they’re loaded, more money than they can sniff at.” Like it was a bad thing. It gets me thinking about everything being relative… Comparisons can always be made, its infinite, like colours having different shades. Just because my red is bright red doesn’t mean your crimson is any less red. It is still red, its just different. That person’s annual income might be more than mine, but mine will be more than the homeless man living in a shelter, and his may be higher than a child living in Toga West Africa living in squalor drinking filthy water. It goes on and on.

I have a friend who has done quite a few Army tours who has told me a lot of places he has travelled to that are on the appearance of being very poor are the happiest! The smiles are bigger, their apparently first appearance joyfulness is contagious! I know people that have very limited current financial means (which is just a polite way of saying they arent $ wealthy) and yet they are the happiest people I know. I also know folks who are ridiculously well off through good choices and hard work who are some of the most generous and loving people I know. You could on and on huh? Crazy healthy people with unhealthy attitudes compared to very unwell people with busting healthy mental attitudes that weather any storm. What is my point? Well I guess I could write thousands of comparisons and you could think of them. Where would it get us? Nowhere. Zilcho. Naught. You catch my lingo? I think I am scrambling my way to a point here somewhere…
I think if you compare yourself to others, or measure yourself against other people all the time, or care about what other people might think all the time its quite possible that you are not going to have the most accurate of measuring sticks are you? How long is a piece of string? Infinite possibilities, and while you are running that piece of string in knots in your mind and twining it around conversations you are wasting precious energy and time. Because a lot of people have a hard enough time running their own lives, what makes them an expert on you or yours? Trust me, it doesn’t cure cancer, pay your credit card bill, solve world hunger, shrink aneurysms, find lost socks or make a cup of tea.

There is the exception to the rule though, I think if someone who you REALLY trust to tell you the truth and who cares about you tells you in a delicate way that you have revolting B.O. going on, well that is possibly something to consider. Its a bit of a deal breaker. No ones likes a smelly nelly and BO permeates everything…like a bad attitude.

I am guilty of it, comparison not B.O (she armpit sniffs as she types) and the occasional neurosis that started in High school. Will they like it? Do they like me? Did I say the right thing? Was that ok? Am I ok?

I am not one for New Year’s Resolutions, but as I go into 2015 i might go in dressed with a new coat that will not be measured by anyone else but me, trusting my own inner voice with the anticipation of a multitude of joyful moments and milestones.

Can you believe its 2015 in less than 10 hours? Man I remember wondering in 1994 what the year 2000 would be like. I honestly thought they would have a hover board by now, or Jetson cars. Thank goodness they have Flow Diverters and Apple phones huh? 2015…wow. I shall call it the year of the Concave Polygon and teach my children to hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

Have a safe and wonderful New Years Eve peeps. Be a lamp that burns brightly for all that is good and joyfu, and if you can’t be joyful may the corners of your mouth tilt slightly upwards towards your ears at least a couple of times a day x

Thank you so much for your support and good wishes, reading and sharing my blog. I am really enjoying sharing with you and our ponderings. Remember you can comment below the blog if you feel like it.
Blessings to you and Yours,
Kirsten

The Day of Champions is here

Monday morning I woke up in a sweat, my heart was beating very fast. In less than 4 hours I would be in the MRI machine again.

Shortly after that a meeting would happen where I would find out if FRED was working or not. I hoped FRED hadn’t taken off to Hawaii or France for Christmas. I dearly prayed that FRED wasn’t blocking any major arteries and this aneurysm wasn’t growing. My mind was full of wasn’t hasn’t and hadn’t.
I went out the back to my nice stretch of green lawn under the fruit trees to do Yoga. I stretched out, like a cat. The sun was already out and the warmth of it on my skin made me smile. As i finished my stretches and closed my eyes for prayer/meditation I was gently reminded that I had indeed chosen the wrong words. The FRED IS working, there ARE no arteries blocked and the aneurysm IS safely shrinking. The reminder was gentle yet poignant, and again I was smiling. Humbled.

To think of something as it is already occurring, affirming it for our bodies, our minds and hearts is the first step in healing.

You can read this and call it denial. Go on, I dare you. I call it working. It has to. You see I have three children, they need me. They think I am funny and I make them laugh. Thats pretty awesome, I also wake them up at times in the middle of the night kissing them and blowing raspberries on their tummies. I know they complain about it, but I see the smile. I know they would miss my messy raspberries if I wasn’t here. So FRED you are like my new Imaginary friend, I can’t see you but I will talk to you. (I warned you last week I was nuts)

Before our stop off to the  hospital I called in to visit a dear friend of mine at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Her little boy has been in there since April very unwell. I was blessed to be able to enter the sterile area they are keeping him safe from bugs and infections. Gowned up and masked I walked into the quiet little space of beeping machines. As I set eyes on this small boy sitting up in his chair, cables and tubes spread everywhere, pumping and signalling, my breath stopped. Everything felt stilled and my heart leaped. I was motionless for what felt like forever but was only seconds.
Before me was the most magnificent sight I had ever seen in my life. Honestly, the MOST amazing. A champion, as brave and true as Arthur about to pull the sword from the stone, as mighty as David bravely staring down Goliath was this person, small in stature but HUGE beyond belief sat this Warrior child. How could someone who was only a child be so beautifully magnificent, I have been in the presence of some pretty “important” people before, but I knew at that moment that I was in the presence of someone very very important, and powerful. A little gentleman with his manners so gorgeously intact and polite, He could not see me, as I told him I was there, he smiled. That smile was a thousand watts of brilliance. As I sat and chatted again I was gently reminded that my MRI and my battle could be fought with ease, look at this Warrior boy in front of me! If he can do this epic journey to the top of his mountain, then my small skip across a teency ravine could be done with ease.
If Mum reads this to you my little friend, I bless you and with all my heart I say thank you. Not because your body has been unwell, but because your personality and this mightiness you have inside you is contagious and brilliant. You are my hero my man. Your family is like the Incredibles seriously! The whole lot of you are super human and tenacious. I think we shall have costumes made for you what do you think?
So I toddled off to the other hospital, had my MRI and FRED looks like he is doing ok. The Aneurysm is there, but it is the same.  Its going to take a long time to tell if I am going to be ok. I know though. I am just fine. A few months ago they said I might not make it to Christmas. 

I hate to be the one to drop the bombshell but Christmas iS TOMORROW! Hello PRESENTS! I love presents, really I do.

Tomorrow morning I will get to wake up to squeals, cries of laughter and overexcited children, grandparents, uncles, Loud Christmas Carols by the Buble and puppy dogs. A big over the top tree thats terrible Kitsch and drooping with ancient decorations shall await me, underneath a silly amount of gifts (Old mum might have gone a leeeetle bit over the top this year…just sayin) – (Mortality does that to you, puts a hole in your bank balance) and hopefully a good hot cup of coffee. As I sit there, I shall send you all a prayer of blessing, thanks and gratitude. For at this special time of year, I am here. I am here! Have yourselves a Very Merry Christmas, keep safe and hug a lot of people if you can. If Christmas is hard for you this year because your special person is not here, I send you a peaceful heart and precious memories that are vivid enough to hold in your hand and heart x
Much Love to you and yours,
Kirsten

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