I have a close friend that I have known for many years. He is the closest in my social circle, and we have been through a lot together. But being this close is not always sunshine and butterflies as all of you know. We have gone through extended periods where we have had disagreements or misunderstandings. Despite this, I’ve never felt a fear that our friendship was ruined. Anytime this happens, we eventually realize that it was unimportant and move on. Afterwards, we talk as if nothing had been different. We get along so well for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that I can bounce ideas off of him without irrational judgment, Additionally, he has no problem pointing out flaws in my dastardly plans.
This is important for multiple reasons. First, the degree of forgiveness and acceptance that we have for each other is something that has come from years and years of friendship. However, forgiveness and acceptance is not something reserved specifically for us. I have had to actively work on that with many other relationships throughout my life. There is good news, though, as it seems to have been working.
Second, Moving on from disagreements is one of many things, in life, that can help us all be better people. Who needs the stress of continually reminding yourself of why you are angry with someone. Personally, I cannot stand to hold grudges as I do believe it shortens our lives. Stress, that is.
I wasn’t always of this mindset, however. When I was younger, I was an angry kid. I wasn’t a fighter, but the thoughts were never far from my mind. As I got older, and started thinking in terms of optimism versus pessimism, I figured out that maybe holding onto all that negative energy was a bad idea. I started a little bit at a time, and it does in fact get easier. It requires attention from time to time, though, but so does friendship.
My friends keep me on my toes. They continuously challenge me to think better, be better, and do better. A friend had inspired me to finish my advanced degree. It was friendship that led me to begin each of the businesses that I have done. Also, it is friendship that is building another business. Without the people that I have in my life, and the relationships we share I would not be a fraction of who I am today.
Of course, it goes without saying that nothing lasts forever. Some friendships are not meant to be. Toxic, caustic, destructive; we have many names for these kinds of relationships, and sometimes they are very hard to identify. Sometimes it takes a good friend to help you see this. Cherish your friends, after all you chose them and they chose you for a reason. Those reasons may not be the same for both of you, but celebrate your diversity.
Onward and Upward!