Thursday, June 30, 2011


Today I heard myself describe my relationship with a friend of 35+ years, "With BR, I don't have to tell the stories, I just have to give the updates."

So, so true. Lifetime and/or long-time friends are a true treasure. Whether you're together on a regular basis, or sporadically, when you do meet you start up again just where you left off. She knows your history, your family dynamics, your successes, your failures, your fears, your joys, your weaknesses and your strengths. Tah-dah! She really knows you and has weathered all the years and changes steadfastly committed to you as a friend.

I remember in my younger years feeling that I needed the perfect friend. Knowing full-well that I am imperfect, I still felt there would be the perfect soulmate. Yeah, yeah... Some think that you can find that with a spouse, but girls need girlfriends.

Somewhere early on, I heard-read that we can't expect perfection in other people, instead we should enjoy the parts of each relationship that work well. We can have many friends with different strengths and weaknesses, interests and opinions. What each of us needs is a mosaic of friends. A mis-matched, cobbled together group of friends that in-the-whole form a thing of beauty. A treasure. Fine art.

So, some of my friends share my faith; some know my extended family. Some friends love to cook-read-travel or talk. Some I get together with weekly or monthly. Some I seldom see or hear from. Yet together, this group of old friends enrich and inform my life.

I know just which friend to call when I need to complain or vent. I know which ones love to celebrate. Various friends can empathize with my joys or my frustrations. I can dial-up just the right friend for just the right conversation. Some friends like to do, some like to talk. Some understand my need for aloneness and some require a constant party.

I love them all. I can take each in small or large doses. But, when the chips are down for one of us, the other is confident that the friend is close by and trustworthy; available and competent to say just the right word, to do just the right deed, or to extend a hand, arm, or shoulder at just the right moment.

That being said, I think I'm open to new friends. Not all positions are filled. If life is about growing and changing (and it certainly is!), then I can see that I am in the need of more friends for this continuing journey.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


At what point does self-awareness (which I believe to be a most positive attribute) diverge from the more negative self-consciousness?

I spend a bit of time with some folks who are not in the least self-aware. They move through life propelled by habit, duty, and/or bad feelings. Some are angry; some confused. Most often, I find people who lack much self-awareness to have slidden into depression or at the very least negative thinking, speaking, living.

Life is just too dang short to live it mad or sad.

Being self-aware, I believe, means that you know who you are and accept what you must, and do your best with what you've got. Change what you can and then thank God for the rest. Be willing to take responsibility for your life, your days, hours, and minutes. Make small choices today that build a foundation to support your future plans, hopes, and dreams.

Start looking the part. Begin acting the part. Whether this means a new wardrobe, makeup, or visage. Hold your head up high, smile with confidence. Today begin to be the person you want to be. When I'm down or sliding toward depression, I tell myself: Walk like a duck, talk like a duck, and pretty soon you'll be a duck. Act the part and soon your feelings will line up with your being and you'll feel more in control. Any depression I've experienced comes through situations of responsibility with no control. I can control my own reaction to my feelings. When things feel out of control, I take control of myself.

Make choices that reflect well on yourself. Read, listen, think. Speak less. Again, read. Turn off the music once in awhile and let your mind wander, or leave it on if music inspires deep and positive thinking. Pray. Be still. Listen closely to birdsong and nature. Become aware of the white noise in your life and take steps to make it a positive influence. Get rid of jarring, energy draining disturbances. Live more quietly. Run around less. Be satisfied with lingering and get in touch with your true emotions. Feel anger. Experience passion. Enjoy art. It's everywhere in things large and small. Celebrate the variety and variances in each day. Notice the moments. Don't rush to fill the void.

If you're prone toward self-consciousness--those thoughts of what others see-think-feel about you--stop yourself. You can only ever control yourself. If how you are and what you are doing are wholesome and right, then forget about what others think or say. Be the best you, striving to be a better you. Let the chips fall. Ignore the negativity. If what you are doing, saying is wrong then mend your ways. If your conscience before God is clear, then forget about it. Live a vivacious and centered life. Don't waste an ounce of energy on self-conscious thoughts or behaviors.

As someone smarter than me said, KNOW THYSELF. Get better or get on with it. Seize the day