Friends can be a source of strength or a source of stress, a source of motivation or a source of mess! We’ve been blessed with good friends who we love and who love us; Friends that we laugh and cry with, friends that we’re accountable to, friend that we can get advice from and give advice to. Our friends are the best!

We’ve all known each other since elementary school or high school. Most of us grew up on the same block and at the same church. We’ve been through hell and high water together. Boyfriends, babies, husbands, cancer, college, divorces, fights, you name it we’ve been through it….always together! We believe in friendship. We couldn’t imagine growing old, not having any friends who knew us way back when. We have the feisty ones, the peacemakers, the complainers, the jokers, the serious ones, the friend who’s always late. We don’t judge each other, we accept each other’s faults and all.

I refuse to lose a GOOD friend because I don’t wanna do the work and have the conversations that are hard to have. I’m willing to say the uncomfortable stuff and speak my truth, always in honesty and in love for the sake of the friendship. And I’m willing to receive my friends truth, even when it’s not what I wanna hear. Its an honor to have someone trust you with the issues of their life. Treat it with the same respect you’d want them to treat your private stuff with. Be an honorable friend but, first, be an honorable person. I’m definitely not saying that we’ve been perfect friends but our friends know we love them and that we value their friendship by the way we treat them, rather our times together are frequent or infrequent.

Now if your friends are raggedy, conniving, thieving, messy, back stabbers, by all means, let them go! Don’t subject yourself to being treated bad just to say you have a friend because that’s not a real friend! But don’t lose someone that you’ve shared great life experiences with because there was a conflict or challenge along the way. Do everything within you to talk about it, deal with it, and resolve it.

Establish some reasonable friendship requirements such as: we must be able to tell each other the truth no matter what, we must be OK with each other’s personal decisions that don’t directly affect our friendship, we must have realistic expectations of each other because we have lives outside of our friendship, we must be able to celebrate and support each other no matter who’s doing well in life or who isn’t. Perhaps some boundaries need to be set as well, because sometimes friends can confuse themselves with being our parents, our financial or spiritual advisor, our schedule planners, or life coach. If you need something or someone to control, start your own business, buy a pet or have some kids, lol. Remember, being a friend does not mean you get to run someone’s life because you don’t want them running yours.

If your core values are the same, work through the challenges and keep on laughing and crying and growing together.

Sometimes it takes just a moment to lose a friend but most often it takes years to gain a real one. So make sure you’re a good friend, a real friend, an honorable friend. Be there for them the way you’d like them to be there for you. Protect them the way you’d want them to protect. Stop trying to run their life because you don’t want them to try and run yours. Have some expectation but don’t be needy, we all want a friend, not a liability. The bottom line is, be the friend that you would want to have. Now somebody say amen.

Live Big ~ Love Big ~ Give Big ….Do Something Big!!!

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