“And I never thought I’d feel this way
And as far as I’m concerned
I’m glad I got the chance to say
That I do believe I love you”
So begin the lyrics to the song “That’s What Friends are For” penned by Stevie Wonder. And how true they are….
Our concept of friendship begins at an early age when we approach our friendships eagerly and willingly, accepting new friends easily and never passing judgment on their looks or their motivations for being our friend.
Ironically, as we mature our “friendship filter” kicks in along the way and there is a loss of that innocent enthusiasm. We apply tests of time and tests of reasoning, as though either the length of time we have known someone or the reason they want to befriend us are true indicators of the kind of friendship we will have.
I have found myself guilty of this thinking on many occasions throughout my lifetime. When I was at my most aware, I would fight these instincts; at other times, in the interest of — what ? — self preservation, perhaps ? I was determined to deny the possibility of a new friendship for reasons that seemed, well, reasonable !
“Well you came and opened me
And now there’s so much more I see
And so by the way I thank you”
Today, my filter is re-setting itself to return to the days when adult misgivings and societal warnings were not part of the process of deciding to be friends with someone new. A new friend — someone I met only a week ago — wrote me a truly kind message on Facebook. She is unaware of how positively her message affected me and how it caused me this reflection and new thinking. But I thank her. I may even someday tell her. For now, I am thrilled to accept her without question as a new friend and I hope that our friendship will endure.
An unknown author once wrote that “friends are the flowers in life’s garden.” I plan to cultivate my garden so that from here on out it is resplendent with beautiful flowers ! 🙂
“Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
In good times, in bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
Oh, that’s what friends are for”