Friends are only friends if they are willing to tell you the truth. Otherwise, they are just mere acquaintances.
It saddens and frustrates me when friends don’t tell friends the truth. I mean, when someone complains about the same thing over and over again (or the same person over and over again i.e. if they can’t forgive someone or see their innocence), perhaps someone should tell them…HEY BUD, IT’s YOU!
I remember a friend of mine crying to me one night about how he is so trusting with people but they always let him down. I told my friend right then and there that it wasn’t about trusting people, it was about his discernment. He called it trust so he could blame them if the relationship didn’t go his way. He was not taking responsibility for his part in it. That’s the truth for so many of us.
Now, just to be clear…you must be a good friend, a friend that has the ability to listen beyond the story being told i.e. does not put loyalty above the truth.
A good friend doesn’t believe there is only one version to any story… there is always two. A good friend may say things like, “Man that sucks” but they also follow that up with … “and what was your part in it?” Maybe not in that same moment but in a moment that follows…the moment of true friendship.
What I have come to realize is, sadly, some people don’t want the truth. They don’t want truth friends. They don’t want to be called out or called on to change themselves or their version of the story. Heck, they are so busy weaving a story they probably don’t know what the truth is anymore.
Telling a story is the way we give our life meaning. So I understand the seduction of it. Yet inside the story we are either taking responsibility or blaming. What is your intention when you tell a story? Do you want people to ‘side’ with you? Do you want to find the lessons in the story? Do you want to search for the truth for each person in the story?
How do you know if the people in your life are true friends? Who will call you on the stories you tell that are just plain stories?
Are you able to hear feedback without getting defensive?
And if you do get defensive, can you admit it?
Do you ask your friends “is it me?”
Are you willing to hear the answer?
You might have people in your life that you feel are true friends, but true friends will never agree with you one hundred percent of the time. They can’t. Sometimes you are just wrong and they are the ones that you can trust to tell you.
So do you have true friends?
Do you give your friends the space to question you, i.e. go deeper or see the other persons point of view? Are you committed to the truth more than being right?
If you want to be right, forget it. Your friends can’t help you and your friends have learned a long time ago that you don’t want their help. They KNOW you want to be right and personally, a commitment to being right is so small-minded.
As A Course in Miracles says: Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?
Sure, being right feels good. No one can argue that. But personally, I want to be happy. And sometimes it is my friends that help me get there.