In 2015, we had a great time showing off our friends. On Instagram the #squad had almost 6 million photos and another million are tagged #squadgoals. Friendship was celebrated everywhere.
I love that we are celebrating friendship right now because my friends are great, and I’m sure yours are too.
My friends have helped make me who I am. They make me a better person. They help me see the world differently when necessary. They are the best for a pep talk when things are scary, a hug when the world is hard, a kick in the right direction when I am being stubborn, and celebrating when life is good. With that being said, I want to value them well.
We are all too familiar with the stereotypes of groups of girlfriends being terrible. Girls can say horrible things about each other and to each other. Girls often compare their lives and allow those comparisons to affect the way they feel about themselves--inevitably creating barriers of insecurity between them. We end up competing instead of celebrating.
I want to be part of a community of friends that are kind to each other, encourage each other, and who work together to create a positive environment in a world that desperately needs more positivity.
Here are a few things I have learned about being a good friend from some of my friends:
Encouraging - Jennie- Over the 12 years I have known Jennie she has heard me come up with some fairly crazy ideas. She has supported every one of them along the way. Sometimes she even helps me come up with bigger ones. I have reached for things I never would have been brave enough to try because she was there saying it was possible.
Confronting - Sarah is not someone most people would immediately describe as confrontational. One of the most important ways she has loved me over the years though has been to tell me to stop some ridiculous thing that I am doing or thinking.
Including - Lauryl is one of the most inclusive people I know. She had the biggest wedding I have ever been a part of because no one could be left out. There were 20 in the wedding party, three pastors spoke, and almost 1000 people at the reception. She is always finding a way to bring someone else into her life. Whether it is through organizing an event, making a meal, or connecting others she will find a way to get anyone into community.
If we spend our time celebrating our friends and their successes rather than focusing on what they have and we don’t, we will all be happier.
Sometimes I have found myself jealous of something a friend has achieved even when it is something I don’t want for myself. This is a silly thing to do. When I take my eyes off of my own life and am engaged with the wonderful things happening in my friend’s life, I can help a moment be even sweeter for them. I’m no longer wasting precious time being distracted by bitterness caused by my own selfishness.
I want to celebrate the great things that come to those I love most. And I know that they will help me celebrate the great things that happen in my life. Sometimes I don’t even notice the great things, and I need a friend to remind me to see the beauty of my life.
If I am going to get to the places I want to go in life and accomplish all I have in my heart, I need my friends. These kind, wonderful, and sometimes crazy people are going to push and encourage me to be all that I can be, and more than I ever thought possible.
I want to learn to always find joy in the successes of other people.
I also need to better support my friends in their failures. We can’t afford to feel an “I told you so” when something goes wrong or find secret delight in their pains. When we can guide and sometimes pull the people we love through the most difficult moments we all become stronger in the process.
Life can be hard and we don’t need to make it harder for each other.
Women will be able to go so much further and accomplish so much more in every area of our lives when we stop turning to compare our lives with the person standing beside us. We must instead choose to cheer for them to be the best they can be!
I want to help every friend in my life be the best version of themselves. I want to learn to encourage the greatness in those I love. Do you?
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
Philippians 2:3 ESV