Good friends can be hard to find. Let me rephrase that: good genuine stick-by-you-no-matter-what friends are hard to find. I don’t have a lot of friends but the few that I do have are loyal, loving, brutally honest and dependable. But I have noticed that although it may be easier to be a good friend to others, it’s much harder to be a good friend to yourself.
This seems to extend as well to not being able to ask our friends to be there for us, especially when we need their help. Why? Because of the erroneous assumptions we make e.g.
- Everyone is really busy with their own lives so why would they try to fit me in?
- Everyone I know is already complaining of financial challenges so how can I add mine to theirs?
- If I did ask, wouldn’t my friends think that I should have budgeted my finances better or made adequate arrangements for my kids so I wouldn’t need help?
- Honestly, wow can I dare make this ‘unreasonable’ request of my friend?
My closest friends will tell you: they only have to say the word and my time/money/whatever else is theirs. To make matters worse, I love doing unexpected acts of kindness for others … but often fail to remember to do the littlest of things for myself – am I not just as worthy?
It was good to know that I was not alone; even Oprah has this problem (that of giving selflessly to others without a second conscious thought for herself) and I invite you to see what she says here: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-Oprah-Celebrated-Her-58th-Birthday).
In the end though, all I can say is this:
- first, be a true to yourself – know what you want from others and from you … for you
- actively schedule time to spend and be alone with you – no distractions allowed!
- continue to find ways of celebrating your friends while cherishing your friendships
- make sure to go out and do something special for yourself today, then
- go out and do something special for those who mean the most to you
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 (NIV)
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 (NIV)