We were coming back from a friend’s wedding and somehow got into a conversation about friendship. Yes, so many articles have been written about this, so many other conversations have been had, and not much have changed since the day people started developing friendships with each other.
The question that we tried to answer was the following:
If your friend starts dating, do you have to automatically accept the partner as your friend?
Some time ago somebody made a statement that you have to and that it is unacceptable not to.
My personal stand is – absolutely not. And here is why.
Friendship is like a marriage. You love your friends but are not sexually attracted to them. You can’t live with them but you can’t live without them either. You are drawn to them and you enjoy spending time with them. It is a love hate story. You might not agree with certain choices or beliefs but you wholeheartedly love the person for who they are.
You can’t just marry or date into a friendship.
We do not pick our friends based on whom they are dating. You have to earn the trust to be considered a friend. Partners can be tolerated and accepted as part of your friends’ life but they also can be not welcomed into a house and not invited to some gatherings if they have been disrespectful or have done or said something hurtful.
You respect your friends’ choices and you accept them but you are not obligated to be friends with the partner. You can’t bully somebody into friendship and you are definitely not obligated just because it is your friend’s partner.
Friendship is a different kind of love story. You have a click with a person. You can’t fake that click. They make you laugh, they challenge you, they make your day just by being themselves. You can’t fake that.
What do you think? Do you have to accept your friend’s partner as your friend just because they are together?
We live our lives day in day out taking one step at a time closer to the end. Some choose not to think about it, some embrace the thought and some freak out. No matter what you do, you will die, and the sooner you accept the fact that this is all you’ve got, the better chances of not wasting your life you have.
Bronnie Ware wrote an article in 2012 about people and their regrets after they were sent home to die. It is worth re-posting and reminding people that the right time is now. Not tomorrow, not in a week, but right here, right now….
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
“This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
“Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
”This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”
Dalai Lama once said: “Know the rules well — so that you can break them effectively.” He is talking about the rules that we set for ourselves. He is talking about the rules that we take as true but don’t actually understand them.
And, yes, sometimes I hate life that others have decided I should have. Actually, honestly, that is not true anymore. It used to be. I used to care what others thought of my choices. I used to care what others would think about what I said. I used to care if people accepted me the way I was.
Now I know. I do not have to. I get to choose people around me. I can walk away any time, any day. I can remove myself from any situation when I want. Yes, sometimes, choices I have might not be something I am thrilled about but as long as I have options, and believe me, they are always there, I am free to exercise them.
So, No, I do not hate Life neither mine nor yours
No matter where you go, no matter what job you choose, no matter what country you live in, limitations that you see are set in your mind. And no matter where you will go and what you will choose to do, same limitations will follow.
Most of the time you feel trapped in the situation, belief or circumstance but as more you look as more you discover that the only place you are trapped is your own mind. You can’t see beyond your beliefs, you can’t see beyond your fear, and you can’t see passed your failures. You just can’t see that there is another way, another choice, and another way of thinking.
Of course it does! People are afraid of everything. They don’t know why they are afraid but they know that they are. They gather things, people, relationships, and choose events to attend, just to be on the safe side and feel comfortable.
Some do not even know what “comfort zone” is and struggle to describe it. Once they are forcefully removed from a stagnant path and known choices, they enjoy new and unknown things and wonder where they have been their entire life. But even then, majority goes back to their old environment.
Once you face the fear, it disappears as mystery behind THE Unknown becomes Known and Familiar.
If you are unhappy, but choose to be where you are, choose same people around you, choose not to try that one thing you always wished you had the guts to do, magic will not happen.
Magic happens when you decide to go against your own way. Magic happens when you turn your back towards the old way and face the new way.
As I am smashing my hammer against the wall I am thinking about my mother. The wall just reminded me of how much they are alike. I know, how odd is that when a wall reminds you of your mother?
Somebody some time long ago put in the half wall in the most ridiculous place. You can kind of see the reasoning but still it just doesn’t make sense. You look at the layout of the place and you keep wondering why there is this wall that almost has no purpose as just to abstract the view and complicate things.
Same way is my mother’s life. Sometime long ago somebody made her think or feel or just told her flat out – you ought to be this way. No reason, no understanding , no purpose – just be.
And so she went to develop all the characteristics of this half wall. Till this day she chooses to be the half wall in her own life and refuses to think that walls are not permanent. She refuses to remove these walls in fear that she will not live up to somebody’s expectations and will not have the purpose somebody else chose for her. However, she herself can’t explain that purpose or even knows it.
All she knows is – you ought to be this way…
I could never understand how people can have a stand on some issues without understanding facts or even educating themselves, not to mention the inability to look at the issue from the other side.
This is a slippery slope for anybody to walk. However, I would assume that you can agree to disagree and still stay friends unless it is harming somebody.
Should a person have the right to bear arms? Absolutely.
Should there be stronger controls on who can get a gun or what kind of gun? Absolutely.
These two are not mutually exclusive.
If you want to get a few guns because you collect them, you hunt, you just like to go to a shooting range or you just want to have them for your own protection, you should be able to.
Should you go through training and special psychological evaluation to make sure that one day you will not go to the mall or some school and start shooting because you feel ignored, upset or just angry.
Domestic abusers should not be allowed to obtain guns. People with restraining orders who have been threatening others should not be allowed to obtain guns. Convicts should not be allowed to obtain guns. Mentally ill or mentally unstable should not be allowed to obtain guns.
Would you want to receive a phone call informing you that the school your kid is going to is being evacuated because some kid brought a gun to school and started shooting? Would you want to hear that your kid was killed?
You can have a gun if you are getting it for the right reasons and are not planning on intentionally harming somebody. You have the right to own a weapon but should also be ready to proof that you are fit to own one.
You have the right to bear arms but I have the right not to be shot by somebody who just walked in the store, got a gun and then went on a rampage.
Gun control is a two-way street. People who are fit to have guns should be able to acquire them and people who do not want anything to do with guns should be able to trust the system that nutjobs do not have access to any weapons. Both sides have the right to feel safe.