With a little help from my friends

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Help from my friends

[Image credit: Master isolated images]

Friends are the mirror reflecting the truth of who we are.
~ Unknown

Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing.
There is a time for silence.
A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny.
And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.
~ Gloria Naylor

I’ve written about my friends in past posts.  They truly are the mirror that reveals many of my flaws, but one that also magnifies those qualities which drew us to together in the first place.  Naylor’s quote goes beyond reflection into the hard core stuff — when we need a chance to flounder as we think and weigh and try again.  We don’t need judgment or “I told you so.”  We need someone who stands back and allows us to live and make mistakes.  But who will also be there to apply glue when it’s broken.

Are you the kind of friend who’s mastered the art of timing?

Masking the heartache

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[Image credit: scottchan]

Wear a mask that grins and lies, it hides our cheeks and shades our eyes.
The debt we pay to human guile, with torn and broken hearts,
we smile … ~ Paul Laurence Dunbar

You know who you are.  The one who dons a mask to hide the pain.  Your countenance contains no clue to the misery locked behind the walls of your heart.  To the outsider looking in, your life is good.  Productivity equates to happiness and when someone inquires of your well-being, your natural response is “fine,” of course.  But fine, in your book, means breathing.  Able to function.  Equipped with skills at compartmentalizing betrayal, disappointment and shattered dreams … without self-combusting.  You believe if you pretend long enough, the difference between reality and fantasy will blur, making it impossible to discern.  So you smile and attempt to fool those who know you best.  Because if you succeed, the lies have a greater chance at becoming truth and no one will be the wiser.  Especially you.

Do you hide a broken heart behind a mask of lies?

Owning the truth

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[Image credit: thepathtraveler]

This past week I found myself struggling with a backseat mentality again (see Never settle for second best).  It doesn’t help that recently someone close to me also called me a derogatory name.  In that instance, the choice was mine to “own” the label or not.  Although it has taken me several decades to realize the only thing I do own is my reaction to life’s circumstances, it’s still hard to put that notion into practice.  However, the way someone treats me has no bearing on who I am — or my contribution to the little slice of world I reside in.  So if someone tells me with their actions that I’m not worthy or someone else calls me a name, I can either accept and live out these perceptions and words as truth, or I can shed them and move on.  It just takes a little faith and a whole lot of courage.

Do you choose to own the hurts, or leave them behind?

Don’t take my word for it

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[Image credit: jscreationzs]

How often do we read something or hear a piece of so-called “newsworthy” information, and it becomes Gospel truth?  Just because it’s published on the Internet, or came from an “expert,” doesn’t mean it should be taken at face value without conducting our own research.  This concept has hit home for me as I’ve been working through my health issues.  Once-upon-a-time, I easily would’ve repeated a doctor’s orders verbatim, no questions asked.  But isn’t it in our best interest to know what we’re doing to our bodies?  Shouldn’t we be armed with knowledge when we’re the ones who must live with ourselves and any short- or long-term ramifications of our choices?  This idea doesn’t apply to just medical situations, either.  I believe we need to look at life, as a whole, as one big test.  Most of the time we’re only given pop quizzes, but there’s always a final exam.  And unfortunately, there are no short-cuts — no CliffsNotes for life.  But don’t take my word for it.

Do you rely on someone else’s word, or do you conduct your own research for validation?

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