Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
— Norman Cousins
Imagine you had this wonderful dream while you slept last night- that you were a child again, full of joy, passion and innocence. You were dancing barefoot in a small mountain meadow, surrounded by flower filled valley. You could hear other children laughing and playing as you danced, caught up in the wonder of the moment. Your heart felt happy, your mind was quiet, and was completely at peace because of the children that watched you dance.
Friendship is one of the many blessings God has given each one of us. Many of us are so grateful for the lasting friendships we have cultivated through the years. As humans, we know that true friendship is a sacred commodity. This is a relationship that is to be cherished and revered for a lifetime. We've experienced friendships that have come and gone because of misunderstandings, differences in lifestyles, spiritual or personal growth. For whatever reasons, they have left a permanent mark on our hearts of what true friendship really is.
I am known to be a very outgoing person and can interact with people from various cultures and backgrounds. I believe this is one of the many gifts God has bestowed upon me. I say this with great humility: as a child I was very shy and reserved. During my early years, I longed for friends. I wanted people to accept and like me. Even in high school, I felt like an outcast because I wasn't chosen to be in what I thought was the "In" group.
Consequently, this had a negative effect on my self-esteem. I placed little value on myself. My self-worth was overshadowed by the quality of relationships versus the quality of true friendships. As I matured, I learned to filter through those relationships that weren't holding me up in the best light. Sometimes that meant I had to light the path on my own. Like a great philosopher asserted “You wouldn’t be able to see the great quality of another person unless you knew that quality in yourself”
Self Acceptance is our elite but society would have you believe that it is about whom you know or who you are connected to. Peeps, there is nothing wrong with having well-known friends or being in the circle of connected people. However, it becomes a problem when your self-worth is based on whom you know.
Be you - love you! Wherever you think you aren't in life yet, should never be an indication of where you are headed. Accept your shortcomings, mistakes; accept that some people won't like you and some you don't need to be connected to anyway. You can receive all the accolades you can stand, but until you can accept and love yourself, they are only a clanging cymbal. In essence, all of life is nothing more than a projection. Like a huge movie projector, we project into our outer worlds that we are in our inner worlds. We collect what we project.
The Key is Quality Not Quantity. Networking is one of the hottest concepts in building relationships in the professional and entrepreneurial world. Business people we know are thought to meet and connect with as many individuals as they can. Whether it is to find a new career/job or build future relationships down the road.
Isn't it funny how sometimes we enter into relationships the same way? We get sucked into a lot of drama and no substance. Then we scratch our heads trying to figure out how we got ourselves into this situation. You will later realize that sometimes less is more. For me, a quality relationship, whether it is personal/professional, is one based on character, excellence, and standard. Not perfection, but one of value that adds to and not distracts from.
There Is Joy In Being Your Own Best Friend. A true friend is someone who accepts you as you are, feels those fears and anxieties with you, and sees your limitations. Just like someone said wisely “A true friend will celebrate you, cry with you, and reason with you for your own good”. I can truly say that I have a small, yet valuable set of friends who have helped me to be the best I can. However, I am learning to be my own best friend too.
When I feel like I'm not where I need to be, I smile and remember where I came from. When I fear stepping out of my comfort zone, I feel the fear and say, "go for it guy". And when I am confronted with my limitations, I tell myself to do what I can. A way will be made because God never fails. I find pure joy in laughing at my quirkiness, the silly things I say and do. When you become comfortable with yourself, you'll realize you don't need a crowd to feel good.
All the dissatisfaction you feel is really nothing more than your best life—your destiny knocking at the door of your current life. The ache you feel in your inner core is your spirit telling you to wake up and get back on track—to become congruent and authentic and be the person that you truly are. As Hermann Hesse wrote ‘Each man has only one genuine vocation—to find the way to himself.
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
The sad thing is that most people pay no attention to this malaise, this emptiness, this inner longing that exists within them, this universal prompting to awaken and discover their best selves. They believe that their unhappiness is natural. What’s the purpose of living if you can’t help others?
Finally, Love yourself in spite of the mistakes you made in life, the heartbreaks that keeps you bound and never forget- The more love you give yourself, the more you’ll have available for others.