Sunday, September 18, 2011

Random Musings on Friendship

Following recent posts by a couple of blogging friends on the ups and downs of friendship, a summer spent with friends made in recent years and a weekend catching up with friends at home, I have been reflecting on the nature of friendships. I have been thinking of friendships that have come or gone, have grown or disappeared. How people I have met recently, can know me better than people who have known me all my life. How some friendships have nourished me and how some have wrecked my head, left me feeling restless and unsatisfied and of course vice versa.  How do we decide whether we should invest in a friendship or more difficult, how do we decide it is time to let a friendship go?

The Front Row is a piece I came across on Çimen Sevanç's lifecoaching website

The Front Row.

Life is a Theatre.........Invite your audience carefully.
Not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in our lives.
There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a distance.
It's amazing what you can accomplish when you let go of or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not going anywhere relationships or friendships.
Observe the relationships around you. Pay close attention, which ones lift and which ones lean?
Which ones encourage and which ones discourage?
Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going downhill?
When you leave certain people do you feel better or  feel worse?
Which one always have drama or don't really understand, know or appreciate you?
The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you....
The easier it will be to decide who gets to sit in the front row and who should be moved to the balcony of your life.
Remember that the people that we hang out with will have an impact on our lives and our income.
And so we must be careful to choose the people we hang out with, as well as the information with which we feed our minds
We should not share our dreams with negative people nor feed them with negative thoughts.
Who's in your front row?

For me it has been a  hectic but rewarding weekend. On Thursday I drove to Dublin - 100km from home for a meeting about our new Comenius Project. The timing wasn't great as I had earlier arranged to meet up with the ladies from our Turkish class for a meal also in Dublin on Friday night.  We have been doing classes together for four years. We share the same passion for Turkey, and the trials and tribulations of learning a language mid life. Most of all, we share our stories and giggles about our "adventures" Each one of us could own the title "Cilgin Kiz"  Among the giggles there is the love, understanding and support for each other with the ups and downs of life, especially when dealing with ageing and elderly parents.
Reverting to teenage years, I had a sleepover with one of the ladies and true to form, we stayed up late and talked half the night.

The next day, I went to meet a friend. She was my bridesmaid thirty years ago. Over the years our friendship has been an easy one. We were school friends, went to college together, got married within a year of each other and our children are more or less the same age. Sometimes we don't meet for a while but we pick up the threads in a blink. We spent the afternoon in her kitchen, we didn't notice the time fly by as we discussed her son's upcoming wedding next Easter and we tossed about the idea of holidaying together next summer. Hubbie and I have a house exchange arranged for Norway and have invited my friend and her husband to join us. We also talked of our desire to retire in the next couple of years. Where have the years gone. How can we be sitting in her kitchen discussing retirement, when only yesterday we were in brown gymslips discussing boys!

I also talked with one of my oldest friends and arranged to meet this coming week. We were inseparable as teenagers. If she wasn't in my house, I was definitely in hers. We even lived together for a while when I was in college and she was working. During this period we had a falling out. In retrospect it was over nothing, but then, being young, we took ourselves so seriously. We parted ways though our lives followed parallel courses. We reconnected a number of years ago. The years fell away. So did any differences. We had wasted so many years through the foolishness of youth.

Strangely enough, this afternoon, I had to go to the rescue of Sis-in-Law and her friend. I used to be good friends with her friend but she is one I said goodbye to a number of years ago. Her negative attitude was having a major impact on my life. Meeting again, reinforced my decision. I was happy she is now "on the balcony of my life"

Reason, Season, or Lifetime
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

— Unknown

To all my friends, my life is richer because you are in it. I hope I can offer the same to you.


  1. Thank you for sharing this. Lots of wisdom.

  2. Wonderful words Mary, and so true. You have so much insight into yourself. That is good, for many people never get there. Thanks for sharing this. I needed it.
    ~cath xo

  3. A well considered topic and covered in a kind and generous way. Nicely done, Mary. Blog on ...

  4. This post was amazing.... relationships have been a major struggle in my life..and I question so much...It was almost a relief to read your words to know others question the same as I do...Thank you for this post...As always....XOXOXOOXO

  5. This is so true! I have had to let some friends go and love them from a distance. Although that sounds so easy to do, I still feel enormous guilt and even though we don't talk anymore I still replay the amazing memories we shared. So do they still love me from a distance? I guess I'll never know.

  6. Very wise words...thanks for sharing.

  7. This is the first time I'm encountering The Front Row piece and truly, it is a gem. Thanks for sharing all your thoughts on this Mary! In my mid-20s, I've had to let go of a 'bestfriend' because it was all becoming too toxic for me. Some ppl may have thought of my decision as selfish. But who else would protect me but me? In the end, I still think it was the best decision for both of us. I was honest with her, maybe too honest, letting her know my reasons why our friendship wouldn't work out and how I truly felt. But I know it was the loving thing to do.

  8. Love this post Mary. Beautiful xoxo

  9. Very wise post. I like the front row analogy. That said, your post made me think of the number of friends that I have. Not a lot. Not enough to fill a theatre!

  10. This is a fabulous post! I love the poem and it is great food for thought. The other night I had a conversation with a person who was once a close friend, and yet we had so many almost uncomfortable pauses. Then the next night, I talked with a friend I hadn't spoken with in ages and it was as though time had never passed. I have asked a few people to head to the balcony, too. And I haven't regretted it. We'll all have people we'd love to send off but can't who are our work colleagues or others. But we don't have to let that stress into our personal world all the time. Thanks for this. It's a wonderful one to muse upon!

  11. Could relate to everything you have said! Yes, sometimes it is important to be one's own best friend and gently step away from friends who are fiends of negativity!


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