August is Friendship Month and I’m so blessed to have my bestie of 33 years, Carlissa Crawford, in my life every step of the way. Friendship, for most people, is a combination of affection, loyalty, love, respect and trust. The general traits of a friendship include similar interests, mutual respect and an attachment to each other, and in order to experience friendship, you need to have true friends. The emotional safety provided by friendship means not having to weigh your thoughts and measure words. True friendship is when someone knows you better than yourself and takes a position in your best interests in a crisis. Friendship goes beyond just sharing time together, and it is long lasting.
Me and Carlissa met and became friends almost instantly during the very formative years of our lives. Our friendship has caused me to ponder the question: “WHAT MAKES A FRIEND WORTHY OF THE TITLE?”
- A commitment to your happiness. A true friend is consistently willing to put your happiness before your friendship. It’s said that “good advice grates on the ear,” but a true friend won’t refrain from telling you something you don’t want to hear, something that may even risk fracturing the friendship, if hearing it lies in your best interest. A true friend will not lack the mercy to correct you when you’re wrong. A true friend will confront you with your drinking problem as quickly as inform you about a malignant-looking skin lesion on your back that you can’t see yourself.
- Not asking you to place the friendship before your principles. A true friend won’t ask you to compromise your principles in the name of your friendship or anything else. Ever.
- A good influence. A true friend inspires you to live up to your best potential, not to indulge your basest drives.
Yep, that’s Carlissa! Carlissa came into my life because I became a true friend myself. One of my favorite quotations from Gandhi is: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I challenge you to “Be the friend you want to have.” We all tend to attract people into our lives whose character mirrors our own. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).
The dictionary’s definition of friendship is: a state of being friends; friendly relation, or attachment, to a person, or between persons; affection arising from mutual esteem and good will. That all sounds nice, but it doesn’t cover the fact that a true friendship is a relationship that can survive the test of time and remain unconditional. A true friend is someone who sticks by you when you are down and celebrates with you when you are up. It is someone you trust. It is someone who understands you, knows the real you and appreciates the person you are.
Celebrate your friends and your friendships, for they have all touched your life in unforgettable ways and have helped to sculpt you into the wonderful and glorious piece of art that you’ve become.