Make Your Friendship Garden Meaningful
As we are growing up in our teen and early adult years, it is often about the quantity of friends that we can amass. The quality of those friendships is not in the forefront of our minds, as we believe that we need approval from others to validate our own lives. What we fail to realize is that those individuals from whom we are seeking validation are usually in the same situation. It is possible that their search for friendship and self acceptance comes at a cost to us, as they negate our feelings and needs as they try to fulfill their own.
In our middle years, we start to realize what is happening and begin to learn what it takes to make true friendships meaningful. However, we do not understand this in totality. While at this point we have likely formed bonds with people that will be a part of our lives forever, we continue to allow individuals into our lives that sap our life energy rather than feed it. Often, rather than lifting us up, they tear us down as they fulfill their need to make their lives seem better, by making ours feel worse. Because they “need us”, we allow them to remain a part of our circle simply because we believe that eventually they will change.
As we enter the second half of our lives, finally we start to see through those individuals and start to question what value they are bringing to the life path that we are trying to live. Their “need” for us becomes irritation and we begin to evaluate all our friendships to determine which are enriching our lives, rather than draining our life energy. Those who are doing the latter quickly rise to the top. Once we find the courage to sever those ties, those that lift us, rather than tear us down, begin to show us why it is quality not quantity that counts when it comes to friendships.
It would be great if we were to discover this much earlier in life, and some actually do. However, for those that learn that lesson later, the moment come to that realization the friendships that matter most to us become more meaningful and nurturing. Suddenly, we have more time for those who lift us higher and in turn we can reciprocate. Although smaller, our friendship garden becomes the garden that it was meant to be.