Loving My Friends Well
Living and loving wholeheartedly means loving others well. Like friends.
Maintaining old friendships.
A text, email, or snail mail can go a long way to let a friend know that you are thinking of that person. Sometimes a drop in to say “hi” can be sent at the perfect time. Maybe he/she was having a hard day, and your encouragement lifted their spirit in that moment.
A lot of my close friends live far away from me. I have found that it’s definitely a two-way street when it comes to keeping the relationship strong. Sure, there are seasons during which we get busy. New babies, busy jobs, family circumstances. I have found that it can be easy to feel hurt when we feel like we aren’t a priority. It’s imperative in a relationship to maintain perspective and give grace. Family is, and should be, a friend’s priority.
I think that it’s also important to be honest. If you’re feeling hurt, name that hurt. Maybe that looks like writing out your feelings in your journal. Maybe it looks like naming it to a trusted person like your spouse, or your parent, or your sibling. Or maybe it looks like graciously telling that friend how you’re feeling. The most destructive thing that can happen in, and to, a friendship is to let bitterness fester.
Social media can be such a powerful method of keeping in touch with friends that you are not able to see or talk to very often. Why not use social media for good, by encouraging your far-away friends, instead of allowing social media to let your heart grow weary by falling into the comparison trap and looking only through the beautiful lenses of others’ lives? (That is an entirely different topic, I know.)
Pressing into current friendships.
It’s easy to take your everyday, close-to-home friendships for granted. It’s easy to interact with them and follow their life through a computer or phone screen. Let those friends know how much they mean to you in person. Ask them how they are from time to time–how they really are. Be a safe place for them to empty their hearts. Be a good listener. Let gratitude permeate your heart, so that you can be aware of the true gift that those friends are in your life.
Investing in new friendships.
It can be awkward and easy to wait for your new friend(s) to initiate a get-together. It can be easy to fear rejection. But I think we need to be courageous and take that first step. I am someone who is always afraid of bothering people, so this is an area of bravery for me.
When it comes to loving friends well, I am writing this to myself. There is plenty of room for improvement in my life.
To all my friends, old and new… I love you and I value you.
What does loving your friends well look like to you? Who can you encourage today?
As always, thanks for reading.
Love, Ali xo
I'm Ali. I write about my journey of living a full and healthy life with food allergies, overcoming the comparison trap, and cultivating authenticity.