We all need at least one friend with whom we can share everything, our darkest secrets, and our deepest emotions without fear of judgment, knowing they will never tell another person. Sometimes just a glance between you lets you both know what the other is thinking, and words aren’t always necessary. You could sit together in a comfortable silence for hours. We all need that friend – and we all need to be that friend. Not judging, but giving honest advice and jolting them back to reality. (Admit it – we’ve all taken a little detour off the reality road – some have traveled further than others.)
I have been blessed to have a few friends like this in and out of my life through the years, with the one constant being my sister whose unconditional love knows when it needs to step aside and let brutal honesty show me the truth.
Recently I was talking with just such a friend, bemoaning the fact that due to my health problems life as I knew it was over. No more job, no more vacations, no more concerts or sporting events, no more dreams of travel – whine, whine, whine. After letting me vent as long as she could stand it, she told me to stop. She pointed out I can do nothing about my heart problems, but I had to see reality. I told her this IS my reality, spending most of every day sitting on my couch, just thinking of the things I can no longer do.
Her response: “For now. This is your reality for now.” Unfortunately, now is all I can see.
But at that moment, we both knew she was right. I told her to shut up – not nice, but my normal, friendly response when she is right. And she never does it. What she did tell me that day was to change my way of thinking. Yes, today I can’t do some things, but there are many other things I can do. She suggested each day I write down one or two things I can do, and get them done. Tomorrow, next week, next month may be different. She told me I didn’t know what my future looked like, and reminded me I didn’t have all the medical information yet. She pulled me off that road, and back on to reality. She said if I did end up the way I saw it, she would walk down that road with me. But until then, she will keep me on track.
And, to me, that’s a good friend.