FriendshipsFriendships can be such a blessing in our lives. But one of the things I have been contemplating this week is how limiting that word is. It is like the word ‘love’. In English we use the word love to describe so many things… as if we love pizza the same way we love our spouse or family. Or how we feel about our friends in comparison to a TV show.

Like love, friendships have many layers and levels. For me, it would be nice if there were more options to choose from. An acquaintance feels to distant unless your talking about the checkout person in the grocery store or the guy who rotates your tires once a year.

It isn’t always about how long you’ve been friends. Some people you connect with as soon as you meet. Others seem to evolve over time. And yet tenure in a relationship has it’s own significance. I saw a clip on a program I was watching where the fortune from a cookie read “Today’s friend is tomorrow’s family”.

Not everyone we know will be resilient enough to hang with all the shifts and changes we go through in a lifetime. Some will disappear to never reappear.

And yet everyone of them represents an important part of our journey… Regardless of how long or how short. The whole “reason, season or lifetime” analogy.

I am sure this is on my mind because of our 8th Anniversary Celebration that is coming up soon. It stimulates memories of the early days when we first opened and it was pretty much me and my mother part-time keeping the doors open. Little did I know that I was creating a family AND so many new friendships!

You don’t have to open a business to experience this. New people come in and out of our lives all the time. Each adding something new and different to our day.

This past week I got to hang with my best friend of the last 33 years. A special treat anytime it happens. Paying attention to and acknowledging these various levels of friendships this week, feels very satisfying. Friendship is a great stimulator for gratitude!

I love how easy it is to slip into the energy of gratitude simply by enjoying the friends and family who surround us. I also realize that there are plenty of situations where we can feel trapped by the people around us. Where what works and resonates between us is more like static or friction.

intentionallivingThere is something to be said for reaching a place (or point in time) in our lives where we can begin to minimize or shift those relationships. And the truth is, recognizing our own authority, permission and desire to shift those things in our lives that no longer fit or feel right…, is important to our personal expansion and awareness. A lot of personal growth work is challenging when or while we are in it. While we are going through it.

Frequently, we only really appreciate the effort of releasing or shifting a relationship or situation, when we are on the other side of it. Maybe in hindsight.

One of my favorite ways of shifting or releasing those relationships that no longer work is to simply stop giving them my energy or taking theirs on. To allow them to be exactly the way they are.., without me getting triggered or hooked by the individuals or situations. They just are.

The opposite approach can be used with those relationships or friendships that feed us energy and vise-a-versa. We can consciously choose to move toward them. Be intentional about sending and receiving energies from the people whose company stimulate or charge us up!

I guess the bottom line is our friendships are a lesson in energy exchange. Some expand or stimulate us. Others constrict or drain us. How we choose to engage with them determines how “charged” we feel.

My battery feels full. Which in turn, makes me feel pretty darn grateful for how my friends and family light me up!

With Light, Love, and Laughter