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.

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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.

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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.

Egos Are Like Farts

Egos Are Like Farts

by StevieAnne Minner

Egos. We all have them. In fact, egos have become a subject that more and more new-thought leaders and spiritual teachers are focusing in on – inviting us to separate from, transcend above, and live without.

A personal fan of introspective, spiritual work myself, I can appreciate the works of Eckhart Tolle, Debbie Ford, and many others who have written about observing the ego, which swings like a pendulum between inferiority and superiority. It mirrors my faith in Christianity which points directly to the conflict we’ve all experienced since the beginning of time – PRIDE.

The ego, as suggested in many works, is perceived as our “identity.” And while my Christian faith calls me to be “in this world, not of it” I have to regularly practice ways to express myself gracefully. Though there are numerous ways to define and understand ego and prideful positions, why not add humor to such humbling practices?

A crass and comical way to observe the ego head-on from a place of neutrality and even lightheartedness. When we see our egos as more of an “activity” taking place within these “God pods” we are scooting around in, we invite in observation and inquiry versus self-judgment and criticism of others. Egos, much like farts, are simply a part of the human experience. Clearly, God has a “sense” of humor also.
This new idea of “conscious” living is far more than just being mentally “here” – it is about being spiritually “present” and mindful of how we show up and express ourselves in each fleeting moment, cognizant of how to speak to those around us, as well as, internally to ourselves.

Awareness around one’s pride is the quickest way to experience resolve. To make this practice of mindfulness easier to “digest,” here are a few brief theories that will help you identify the activity of ego within you and others. No different than the sometimes abrupt and offensive activity of farting, egos share a very similar M.O:

  • We all have them, and it’s easier to tolerate our own than others.
  • We have our own unique brand – some “digest” information or experiences better than others. Some environments can be extremely offensive and upset those who are highly sensitive to specific topics.
  • Clearing the air can be difficult after either is “aired,” typically putting a significant distance between us and our loved ones/friends/fellow beings.
  • Both are known to cause a set of rosy cheeks – only with ego, they are topside. Expressing either can cause embarrassment – for all parties involved.
  • They both share the ‘Silent But Deadly’ expression! C’mon, we know that ‘stinkin’-thinkin’’ internal dialogue we all have that we are “better than another” or “not good enough.” Both can be toxic and held back when not able to express them in a safe space.
  • Often, when we express either, we are likely quick to blame, not to claim.
  • All too often we point out and laugh at others for their abrupt explosions of fury or flatulence, but rarely do we acknowledge openly and humbly in the times that we have done the same, owning “It was me.”
  • Pffttt… Just hot air. You know, those moments when you think there’s solid proof of someone’s incompetence, yet really our perceptions of them are proven completely inaccurate. Sometimes, whether it’s an ego or a fart, it expresses as nothing more than hot air.
  • Sharting is possible with both. Ever had one of those moments, when you swear you have self-control and you won’t explode; however, you just can’t take it any longer, and you get diarrhea… of the mouth (always a mess to clean up). This often happens when we have held back our opinions, rather than sharing them over time, then wind up expressing it all in an explosive rant.

Letting both go creates inner peace. As human beings, we are meant to express. It is human nature. Both activities of farting and ego chatter are necessary to fully experience this thing we call “life.”

The invitation here is to consider filtering before we fire. This act of observing the ego and allowing discernment before discharge is deemed “Conscious Cropdusting” and may just be the answer to world peace.
Here’s to expressing ourselves through many unique forms in a loving and less-offensive way, creating an environment that is less toxic and more tolerable for all humankind.

Till next time, StevieAnne x

A Stand Up Comedian Walked into The Club…

A Stand Up Comedian Walked into The Club…

What happens when you cross a stand-up comedian, a writer, and a Christian together?

You get the quirkiest and cool wordsmith ever! Ponderers, we are so excited to introduce you to StevieAnne Minner, our newest team member of Ponderings from the United States.

StevieAnne 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. She never anticipated performing stand-up comedy, but it was her first published book that she wrote just for fun that was suggested as material for a quick 7-minute gig at a local Improv.

 With a title like “Egos are Like Farts…”

It was no surprise that the one-liners would be both captivating and comical.  She used her comedic comparisons between the two to serve as a fun and enlightening way to encourage the audience to be as mindful about expressing their ego as they likely were about expressing flatulence.   This is especially true in Stevie’s faith in particular where the “flesh” is rarely focused on the compassion of others.

“Most people do not like to be laughed at.  However, in the world of stand-up, laughter is always a reward, and often, the best material comes at the humble expense of the comic themselves.  Being able to laugh at life is not only strategic in overcoming personal foibles, but also brings people together as everyone can relate to the emotions of surprise, embarrassment, and joy – even if the situations that bring such feelings to vary” says Stevie.

Bordering between a childlike faith and a childish sense of humor, she began using the silliness and simplicity of humor to bridge the gap between her faith and her quirks.

What started as a small, fun project quickly became endorsed by a #1NYT Best Selling Author and a regular stand-up routine.  From there, it has grown into company culture meetings – showing employees and staff how to show compassion in the workplace, as well as, a children’s book soon to be published, titled “AttiTOOTs…the kids’ guide to expressing farts and feelings.”

It is Stevie’s hope that we can “lighten up enlightenment” and learn to express ourselves – in many ways – while considering how it will affect others.

We welcome Stevie and her gorgeous insights into humanity, wind, and laughter.

 To Read StevieAnne’s Article Egos are Like Farts Click HERE

 

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