What kind of a friend am I?

Sometimes I wonder: am I a good friend to my friends? Am I able to be there in times of sorrow, in times of joy, or when they need me the most? What kind of a friend am I: the cane that supports them to walk further or the umbrella that shields them from bad weather?

To me, friendship is the most important expression of love and I am really happy when my friends are doing great. Yet, there are times when, due to my restless tendency to explore the world, I forget to nurture my relationships with my friends. I get so caught up in my own adventures that I miss out on what is happening around me. Most of the times, when I am very enthusiastic about something new that I learned or discovered, I feel the need to share it with my friends. But I rarely (almost never) do the same when I am in a lower emotional or mental state. Why is that?

The first thing that comes to mind relates to my own experience of other people’s suffering. I don’t seem to be able to not feel it myself, so I decided from a very young age that I would avoid, as much as possible, to project my own struggles on others (therefore, I tend to retreat instead of talking about it). This is also why I think I am more like the umbrella type of friend. I am not there all the time, but, since I can actually feel what my friends are going through, I become very protective of them when trauma and crises hit.

The second reason why I tend to keep my struggles to myself is that I am so focused on understanding what’s behind them and finding a solution that I tend to not dwell too much in any low vibrational state. Once I sort things out, I am more than willing to talk about it if I believe it will be of any help. Therefore, the only thing that my friends and family have access to is my own detached reflection about my challenges and not the emotional states accompanying them. And I’ve done it for such a long time that it has become an automatic process.

But now that I am writing about it, I realize that this is not a very fair and honest way of behaving in the spirit of true friendship. By not letting my friends know when I am in pain, I am actually robbing them of their possibility to be there for me. Wow! so much for being a good friend! Out of the desire to spread only joy, enthusiasm, and harmony, I probably nurtured mostly unbalanced friendships. I wonder now if any of my friends ever said to themselves: “she doesn’t trust I am strong enough to be there for her”, “she always seems to be alright, she couldn’t possibly understand me”, “I must stop reaching out to her for help, I don’t seem to ever have the chance to give it back”…

Suddenly, I feel very grateful for the friends who have stuck around! 🙏

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