I have always been a bit of a loner. As I was explaining yesterday, I have spent most of my life feeling like I was on the outside looking in when it comes to having friends, but I also know that having friendships are important.
Growing up I used to complain about not having any friends. What I was really complaining about was about not feeling included. When I would complain, my father would always reply, “To have friends you have to be a friend” which I will say always confused me. I wanted to know concrete ways to be friends with others and telling me that I had to be a friend was confusing for someone who at that age was a very concrete thinker.
Now as an adult, I have come to realize that my dad was right. “To have a friend you have to be friend.”
And I have to come learn that when it comes to being a friend what is important isn’t the things that you do, that there is no checklist for being a good friend.
What is important is being a friend is love. When it comes to being a friend, it’s all about love.
It is about learning to love others as you love yourself.
Last week I wrote a list of ways to love others, but you can’t check off of that list and say that you have been a friend.
Being a good friend isn’t measured by the amount of time you spend together or even the amount of time you spend talking during the week. It can’t be measured by the gifts you buy or what you do.
Oh, they are all part of loving others, but you can’t measure your friendships by them. I have had friends that I spent the majority of my time with at one point in my life and now those friends are no longer a part of my life. I still count them as friends though because I know that if any of them were to contact me today or needed my help I would be there for them. Why? Because I love them.
Being a good friend is measured by love.