You were the one who made things different, you were the one who took me in. You were the one thing I could count on, above all, you were my friend.
In honor of the holidays, I am delighted to present this latest post by Rowena contributor, Terry Christopher, on the beauty and joy of that most wondrous of human connections - friendship! Love, Ro.
By: Terry Christopher
I am writing today being much inspired by a friend of mine, Ivette Rivera, who posted this on her Facebook page this morning – “The manner of giving is more than the gift.” Ivette gives me so much positive energy, love, happiness and truly radiant joy, that it should be illegal. I met Ivette through riding in NYC’s Braking The Cycle the last 3 years and Ivette is there at every stop, cheering us on, celebrating every mile with us, encouraging and helping out in any way she can to assist the Riders. Ivette in giving of herself in this way is giving a special gift to every person she meets who is willing and open to receiving such a bounty of positive, good-feeling energy.
Ivette’s post reminded me of the gift each of us are and give to those around us that we call our friends. It’s during this time of year that especially seem to draw close to us our friends and family who have shared the good and the bad with us, have weathered the high moments in life, and helped walk along side of us when life seemed to be a burdensome and heavy as 50 lbs. bag of concrete mix. While some people come from really strong family units who circle the wagons and stand up for and by each other in every way that is typical of a stable family, there are those who come from a family lacking such a foundation, who may not have any family left around them, or have been shown out of their family for a multitude of reasons. These people generally create a magnificent, colorful, multi-dimensional family that is called 2nd Family.
Each of us is born into a family not of our choosing but then as we grow, mature, experience the many variables of life, we tend to hold close to us similarly driven people with like goals, dreams, passions and understandings who may be outside of our birth-given family. This 2nd Family is unique in that each person creating a 2nd Family for him or herself is doing so out of a willingness, a desire, a yearning to share the journey of this life with people they have found common ground with and have built a foundational network of caring, loving, respectful and understanding friends. It’s through these friends in our 2nd Family, that we shape our experiences, form our opinions of the world around us and hopefully have a safe place to share, express, learn, grow and GIVE. A healthy friendship isn’t about taking constantly, it’s not about draining the emotional or spiritual resource found in each of us, but instead it is an on-going dance of give and take. 2nd Families are friends who take you as you are, celebrate you for being you, share the ups and downs of this journey without judgment, or ridicule because there is a basic humanity present in these friendships based on trust, caring and respect which GIVE to you as much you give to them.
Terry is a New York based, award winning singer-songwriter, and I am a fan of his as well as a friend. For more information about Terry and his music please click on Terry Christopher.
While you are here be sure to check out Terry's previous contributions to this blog, Braking the Cycle about a 3 day/300 mile bike riding/humanitarian event that Terry participates in every year, and The Art and Skill of Thanksgiving/Gratitude.
For more on the subject of friendship, check out my blog post Uncluttering Friendships. I also recommend reading Everett Bogue's blog article on "How to Meet Remarkable People When You Live and Work from Anywhere" and Leo Babauta's "A Users Guide to Fabulous Friendships".