I suck at friendships. There, I said it. It’s true. I either over-extend and over-invest myself or I go MIA and have too high of expectations. When my friends are going through a particularly difficult time, I try everything in my power to lift them up. I go out of my way to do things for them – even anonymously so they know that someone cares. Unfortunately, when I myself am going through a rough patch, I don’t reach out. I let it eat me alive and then I demand understanding and comfort. Or, I expect I will get the same generosity in return without even asking for help or letting my friends know that I need them.
Friendship is one of the most beautiful things in our life. In order to build solid and lasting friendships we must start by looking internally and looking to Christ.
St. John Paul II, stated, “Friendship with Christ is the start of holiness”.
So how can we establish a friendship with Christ? I think it is pretty difficult to feel Christ’s presence, let alone His friendship, if we don’t figure out how to first love ourselves. I have a LOT of trouble with this concept. To use the words of St. Teresa of Avila, I am a “wretched sinner”. I am really good at seeing my faults but I am horrible at realizing the good that I can bring to the world. It is important to remember this basic point, we are ALL made in God’s own image and likeness. We are more than enough for Him so we need to figure out how to be enough for ourselves.
I wish I had some good advice on how to love ourselves so that we can be better friends to those around us. Unfortunately, I am still working that one out. And it is something I plan on writing more about in future posts. Truthfully, after taking a deep look in the mirror, I have come to some humbling realizations about myself. I have been a very selfish friend lately. I am broken. We are all broken. If we can see the beauty in others, we need to try to see the beauty in ourselves. Only the Lord can heal us if we seek it. We must not be afraid to admit our weaknesses; we must raise our hearts and hands to Christ who has the power to forgive and to make us stronger. After all, He died for us and is the greatest friend we will ever have in our earthly life!
There are many good bible verses on friendship. The one from Colossians and the one from 1 Corinthians, written below are my two of my favorites.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14
“Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
I hope you all have some amazing friendships in your life and that you sincerely treasure them. Make loving yourself and Christ a priority today. Spend some time in silent prayer or Eucharistic Adoration recognizing your sins and asking for forgiveness. Work on moving past these transgressions so that you can be a better friend not only to others but to yourself.