The Guided Friendship
What does it mean to be a friend? Firstly, friendship is reciprocal. It must go both ways in understanding, love and support. A truly deep and meaningful lifelong friendship is a rare gift these days but one that has to be maintained if it is to be worthwhile.
There is no such thing as friendship boot camp, but a great friend takes a lot of effort. There is more to being a best friend than just being around. Real friends are there whether you think you need them or not. They support you in life's most unexpected and trying times. I had a friend who I supported through a very trying time, a rough ex-spouse who just kept dragging them back to court, a child just entering into teenage hood. While they were dealing with open wounds even many years latter I made sure to stay around, cook meals for reheating, gave advice on having a daughter. Nothing huge, but I worked hard at making my schedule open to helping a very close friend when they needed it most. A lesson, not so funnily learned on my part, was that when I went through something equally life changing and stressful they pulled back and let it be known I was as good a friend as was available to help them.
The more I talked to friends about this situation, the death kneel of friendship is hard, almost everyone had a story similar to mine. We have all experienced a fake friend, somebody along for something easy and supportive for them but shallow and easy towards anybody else.
How you can be a good friend:
Do small things to bring happiness to your friends
Don't pretend to be engaged and interested if you aren't, honesty
What you should expect from a good friend:
Keeping up with changes in your life
Supporting your decisions, good or bad for them
The lessons everyone had been learning through these failed friendships seemed to be the value of really true, solid friends. By valuing friendship we learn to value ourselves in the friend equation just as much as others. Learning to value and have gratitude for those that value you is a key component of strong, long lasting friendship.
There are so many downfalls we read about daily within the social media age but there are many positives as well. Distance is not a barrier to maintaining strong bonds. We can write the occasional letter by hand or post photos of our lives online. All these things are good but we should not loose sight of the power of our human, in-person connections. I know plenty of people who haven't seen friends in ten plus years and always regret not flying or driving to see each other.
Put the time in but make sure they are too. We shouldn't be giving any more than we're taking. The guided friendship is one where both sides to the friendship equation are equally valued. We learn through doing and being and guiding our friendships is no different. In a time when we have more connections than ever but fewer relationships being mindful and aware of how we conduct our friendships, both in receiving and giving, is vital to a vividly and well lived life.
Heartburn can be very painful, it will keep you up at night and affect when you can eat and even your ability to keep food down.
When tums isn't kicking it anymore and you're faced sleeping upright between pillows all night there have got to be solutions that help with heartburn beyond just avoiding all food.
Peppermint can be a godsend for those suffering from heartburn. Peppermint tea with a half teaspoon of local honey. If you can get raw honey that is even better for your immune system. Pour 10 oz of hot water over a peppermint tea bag and let steep for 2-3 minutes, don't let it steep too long or you will get a murky sour taste. This is perfect for a lighter tea, something easy to drink. Stir in the honey while the water is still hot but not boiling and let honey dissolve.
For a late night drink that will sooth your tummy and your heartburn try warm milk and supplements. Heat 6 oz of full fat milk on the stove until it simmers but does not boil and stir in a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Preferably whisk together to get the best smooth consistency. Drink this still warm with two capsules of Licorice and one capsule of Milk thistle.
If you need something solid to eat while suffering from heartburn try making a buttery toast spread with two tablespoons of butter, ground Caraway, 3 drops of Greater Celandine extract and a teaspoon of raw honey. Spread on crisp, thin slices of bread and have with either drink above.
Existing Beyond Death or Utter Blackness?
What does it mean if we exist beyond death? The obvious answer is that it means our souls move about, free from confines until we re-form in solid matter for a short time. However, the less obvious answer is that it doesn't really mean anything. Not in this lifetime, anyhow. We should not arrange our lives based around what will come, what can be or where we will exist latter on. We should arrange to live our lives as vividly as possible, to eke out every last inch of breath from this body no matter, or even in the face of there being nothing beyond death or everything in the great beyond.
We can all get so caught up in the discussion of an afterlife, the ideas of where we go and the hope of what we are. But being too focused on what will come can blind us to what we are now.
To what we have right now in the current moment. Focusing on the life you're living and making it as full and rewarding as any afterlife is the best plan to go happily into the white light when the transition does happen.
If you leave behind all sorts of regrets or fabricated facts for what the afterlife will reward you for you'll be going out of this life less prepared and less joyfully than you could be. You could be so focused on dieing that you loose focus of living. The value of your life is measured only by your contribution to living and to others' ability to live with joy. There is no measure for what will come, the immortal chance of the great beyond does not give us a pass to live life as anything but vigorously and thoroughly.
Years ago I knew someone who really thought this life was just a hold over, a waiting area and heaven was going to be the 'real deal'. There is a true and present danger with believing the depth to existence, or the good part to 'living', is going to happen after we die. Living life to the fullest; learning to love deeply, traveling, eating great meals with our little family of souls, these give us satisfaction and joy in the here and now. Waiting and believing in the mandatory bitterness of the future only leads to a life poorly lived and lingering regrets. Live well if you want to die well.
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