When I chose this card this week, I thought... pshaw... I've got this one in the bag. But then I started reading the card. Reading between the lines. And I realized that it is not always easy to practice the virtue of friendliness.
You know that maxim... to have a friend you need to be one. It really is as simple as that. Simple in theory. Sometimes difficult in practice.
If you are of the 'take what you can grab' and 'it's all about me' persuasion, you might be inviting on the outside but your invitation comes with ulterior motives. Chances are that when you look around sometime you will see that you are all alone at that party of your own making.
But if you seek ways to connect with others on a truly genuine level, if you care about where they are and not how their position can aid you, and if you find ways to make that other person feel special, loved... you will always enjoy the quiet company of great friends.
From the virtue card: Friendliness
Friendliness is reaching out to others with warmth and caring.
It is the willingness to be an intimate companion.
Friendship is essential to our souls.
We value ourselves enough to know that we deserve true companionship.
We attract others by what we are willing to contribute.
What we give we get.
The presence of a friend can soothe us, unleash our laughter, amplify our joy and diminish our sorrow.
Friends are compassionate witnesses to one another's stories.
We share our time, our attention, our love and above all ourselves.
We look upon strangers as friends we haven't met yet.
Friendliness is the best cure for loneliness.
We moved here when I was 10 and built a house on a channel off a small lake. I remember that first summer that I had all sorts of friends. Who only wanted to come over to my house so they could go swimming in the backyard. When I tired of that, and suggested other things, it was met with resistance. It was clear to me even back then that this was bogus. That unauthentic behavior haunted me all through school with some of these people and may even be the reason why today these same people regard me with a certain disdain. I didn't give them what they wanted then so they weren't interested in being my friend even today.
My friend Lynn(a) has been my best friend since we were 10. When I was the new kid at St Steve's she was the only one in a long line of someone's who really saw me for who I was. She accepted me and didn't try to see what she could get out of me. She was always real and genuine with me. I am grateful for her true companionship. I wasn't the most popular kid, and it would have been really easy for her to push me aside, but she never did. And our friendship has remained steady for over 3 decades.
I have a lot of acquaintances. People that I get along with, that I enjoy their company. But there are very few really good friends. The ones that I bare my soul to, that I can't wait to be with them and when we are together it is like we never left and we can pick right up where we left off.
I have been blessed, honored really, with finding several such souls through the blogdom. These someones are ones that I really need to meet in real life because I feel a sort of kindred spirit with them. I am curious about how it would be to sit in a room and talk to them and touch their hands, give them a hug and a real shoulder to lean on. These virtual friends I have a complete connection to are the ones that I never miss the opportunity to share with, to write to them almost daily, to peek into their minds and hearts on their blogs. I don't want anything from them except their love and respect. I hope they know who they are and know that I love them with my whole heart.
Yesterday, at the A.R.T.S. Night show Lynn(a) gave of her time to come and booth sit with me. She charmed my neighbor Jen Selwyn who makes pottery. We drank wine, we laughed.She helped me writing up slips and answered questions for customers. She was a great asset to me but more than that I realized that she is the only one that I would have trusted to be doing that for me. To represent me. She helped me to shine last night, not because of what it would do for her, but for what it would do for me.
But most importantly we strengthened the bond that has been ours for 32 years.
The Practice of Friendliness
- I make others feel welcome.
- I trust that I am worthy of companionship.
- I have compassionate curiosity.
- I take a genuine interest in others.
- I share my laughter and my tears.
- I invest my time and attention in friendship.
© Virtues Project International
To order your own set of Virtues Cards, visit Virtues Village LLC.
So what about you?
- Do you believe that you deserve true companionship? What would true companionship mean to you?
- Do you find it a joy to invest your time and attention in authentic friendship? Or is it a challenge for you?
- Who is your best friend? Tell us what s/he means to you.
A special thank you to all of you who comment so regularly and so meaningfully on my blog. The greatest joy that I have comes from knowing that we can continue that conversation, that you feel comfortable enough to share so willingly of yourself, and that you are so supportive and enthusiastic when you come here. You may have started out a stranger here, but with each comment, each conversation, each baring of your soul, I hope you feel that you are leaving as a friend.
Speaking of friends... only one more day to bid on this necklace auction to raise money for my friend Andrew Thornton. Go to this post to read more and leave your bid... current high bid is $75... did I mention that I plan to match the donation?
Enjoy the day!