In the past, I used to share a lot, I mean A LOT!!!…. Personally, I shared about me, my family and our lives. So much at times, I believe my daughter would call me out about my ‘oversharing’. I had convinced myself that this was me… “Mr. Transparent”, “Mr. Open Book”, with a “what you see is what you get” mentality in relating to those in my circle of “friends”.
As my wife Sandie has said….just when we think all is good…” life happens” and it gets even better, and when we think life can’t get any worse…” life happens” and what we thought was the absolute worst of times, somehow definitely looks better than what we experienced next.
In my walk through the extremes of the pendulums of “life happens” experiences, one piece of knowledge I acquired is that of discerning between “friends” and acquaintances, and that I needed to respond differently to each in my relationship with them. I believe there are times we experience such a desire for “friends”, we create a relationship we believe to be one with ‘depth’ when it truly was a relationship of ‘surface’. Have you ever experienced someone close to you be nearly destroyed emotionally, and even spiritually as a result of them sharing personally with an another (they believed was a “friend”), only to have this person share this personal information with others with the sole motive to injure that person. I believe the devastation experienced is without question one of the worst things I could imagine going through.
There are certainly a number of attributes and behaviors that define friendship yet one of the best was shared years ago by Charlie McMahon, Lead Catalyst at SouthBrook Christian Church. Charlie shared a great message about what defines friendships and relationships. His reference was for us to consider who those “friends” closest to us and whether or not that have ‘refrigerator rights’ in our home…..you know those “friends” who are always welcome in our homes and yes….can open our ‘frig’ anytime they desire. It’s one of his messages I remember to this day!
What is your definition of true a “friend”, or friends and how have you built upon and strengthened your relationships and your commitment to them?
A little over two years ago, my best friend, and yes I ‘am referring to my wife Sandie, and I made an ‘adventure’ commitment that has forever changed our lives.
As part of this pact we made, each month, we ‘committed’, sometimes individually, or collectively to plan a getaway for the two of us. It could be anything from a day to a weekend trip, with the only rule being we could not stay at the same place twice during a given year. This has led to both memory building opportunities and life changing experiences. We have had times of being hopelessly lost, to how the heck did we luck out and we get here” times in our travels. We have also expanded upon these monthly adventures inviting “friends” to share them with us which has built some of the greatest relationships of “depth” either of us could have imagined.
My wish for each you the building of, and the keeping of “deep friendships, amazing journeys, and oh yes, a good number of ‘refrigerator’ rights”!