Have I been living under a rock? I just discovered Zig Ziglar and the fact that this is the case explains why it’s taken me this long to get to this place in my life. Apparently, my husband knew about him, (because somehow he seems to know everything) and was rediscovering him with me.
I love a good what I like to call, ‘mind f*ck,’ the kinds of mental jewels that get my mind racing, connecting and flipping my world inside out because of its simplicity and depth. They usually come in bite sized beautifully wrapped quotes that make you think, “I knew that, but I have never heard or thought of it like that. Well, mister Ziglar gave me a couple of those, but the one that struck a chord for me was this particular quote on the subject of friendships.
If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.
This was poignant for me to come across because I’ve learned trying to live a life of true happiness and abundance is a road less traveled. Not too many people want to take the journey with you and they don’t understand why you would want to. I’m talking about family and friends you’d just assume would be there to cheer you on through your scary and bumpy ride, suddenly forget your number. Worst yet, laugh and ridicule you when you’re not around.
I’ve learned early on the the term friend is probably one of the most abused words in the English language (second to love). We throw it around and use it to classify people that haven’t proven themselves worthy of the title. When I use the term friend, I expect a whole lot from that person I assign it to because I know what I am prepared to do if I’m considered “a friend.” I’m likes German Shepard, with a willingness to learn and can become overly protective of loved ones.
I find it a little difficult to find that same standard for friendship I hold myself to and continually get disappointed at the motley crew I’ve had the self-inflicted pleasure of surrounding myself with because of my choices and happenstance. Real friends are absolutely as scarce as Zig claims they are.
I’d like to say I’ve “lost” many friends for various reasons, either because of jealousy or duplicity, but I came to the realization that the only real way to lose a friend is if they’ve passed away. A “friend” that stops being my friend was never a “friend” in the first place. To this day, I have never been the one to cut off a friendship. Not because I’m a sap, but because I don’t believe there’s a problem that can’t be resolved through honest and open dialog. Sometimes we get lost in the story lines we create for ourselves, especially in those times where we feel slighted. We think, “so and so did this to me” because of this or that, but more often than not, people’s actions and choices are made based on self preservation, you’re just a casualty in the bigger scheme.
Real friendships are built on solid foundations of trust, mutual respect and reciprocity. If one of us don’t share that between us both, then we’re just people who like each others company most of the time.
My husband is my last standing friend. All the others have been reassigned to family or acquaintences, because that is what they’ve proven themselves to be. For the past few months I’ve been wrecking my brain trying to figure out where I should go to make new ones. I joined meetup.com, attended some events with like minded people hoping to make a deep connection with some new people. It proved to be harder than I thought. Just because you share similar thoughts and ideas with someone doesn’t mean they see the world through your eyes. I had a 20 minute conversation with someone and I think at least one of us walked away thinking, “well, that was a waste of time.”
If I heed Ziglar’s words, I’ve been going about this all wrong, which for a very long time, has been the story of my life. Sayings like, “show me who your friends are and I’ll show you who you” are poignant, but Jim Rohn’s, you are the average of the five people you spend your most time with begs you to immidiately think of the people you’ve chosen to keep in your company. They are your friends, at least those you voluntarily spend your time with.
Some people will think about this question, think about those five people, freak out a little, and then go on with business as usual. I certainly didnt realize I was slumming, untill i realized that only one of those five people I chose to orbit around was on the same path I was. Most of them were content to live within the saftety net of the barricaded cattle fields.
I was easily fooled. The right things were said because it’s cool to talk about the things you want, but real actions were few and far in between. The minute my husband and I decided to jump off the cliff, we realized no one jumped with us although they said they would. It was a crushing reality and honestly stirred some bitterness within us. No time for sulking though, and that jump landed us in a place that forced us to realize that we were living in the Matrix, the one we built for ourselves. Our so called friends did nothing to propel our cause or enhance our lives. We were constantly dragging them around because we didn’t want to go it alone. They were dead weight and it literally explained why our endeavours, no matter how strong our efforts or intentions would only go so far. Those friends were now the crabs in a bucket we thought we had gotten rid of years ago.
I don’t blame them though. The blame is all mine. I’ve come to the realization that not everyone is willing to do what it takes to get what they say they want, so I should go find people that do. And in the process, understand that these new friends have no duty to me to be anything, but who they are. If our values, mind set, attitudes and goals align, all I have to do is be a friend. That makes life so much easier.