Do You Have Enough Friends?

“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” –Helen Keller

People are our connections in life. Friends are those special people who tie us to each other. Friends enhance joys and decrease sorrows. Strengthen your friendships and friendship base and you strengthen your life.

I look at my friends. I notice my actions with my friends directly reflect how I feel about myself. When I am feeling happy with myself, I find it easier to reach out and share happiness. The happiness intensifies when I share. I grow excited to share more. In response, I reach out to another friend. As I celebrate with each additional person and heighten the happiness for myself, I have spread the same feeling to others. Sometimes I am the recipient. A friend calls me to tell how well she did on a presentation. She had a standing ovation! My caring heart opens with joy for her. My elation rises with each delightful delivery of a friend relating success.

What about the other side of the coin? When I feel sad and I reach out to a friend, I ease my feelings. The energy of the sadness decreases as I let it out. In addition I have the sense of another carrying the heaviness with me. I have lightened my load by giving some of the load to another. In lightening my load, I understand we are all in this human experience together. The human condition unites us. We have similar experiences. We mark events.  We convene in times of sorrow to bring us together as a community. An additional benefit of reaching out is you offer your friend a chance to feel valued. You allow your friend to give their gifts to you.

Since friends can be treasured in the emotional journey of life, you may want a number of friends. How many friends would you like? Growing your friendships is like growing your garden. What kind of seeds would you like to plant? The seeds you plant dictate the fruit you receive.   Think about what you would like to harvest. If you ask for fun friends, you may have the pull from friends to party all the time. If you like to share deeply, you will likely attract and be attracted to others who share deeply. Your selection may feel like a natural choice based on people you organically attract. To keep your number of friends growing, give them attention. Just like in the garden, a plant takes the attention of caring through watering and fertilizing.  Where you put your energy is where you will have your results. Put your energy on friendships to grow more of them.

If you would like your life to feel fuller and richer, pay attention to your friends. When you celebrate and share with those significant to you, you heighten your happiness. When you reach out in distress, you can decrease your load. You decrease your load while giving the other person the opportunity to give the gifts of supporting you. Choose what kind and how many caring people you would like to have in your life. Then you can “walk with a friend in the dark” and the light. ©Caron MacLane 2015