Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Love from the centre of who you are; don't fake it. Hate what is wrong, run for dear life from evil. Hold tightly, hold fast to that which is good. Love each other with genuine affection, be good friends who love deeply, and take delight in honouring each other above yourselves.*
I kinda think the Bible knows what it's talking about in terms of friendship advice.
I think you can tell the kind of friend a person is to the kind of friends they have.
And, not to toot my own horn here, but I seriously am blessed with some freakin' amazing friends.
A lot of them.
Ten. 10 best friends. Actually I could probably add a few more to that list too.
And do you know what? Having these amazing, deep, fulfilling friendships was the cry of my heart 15 years ago, and is an answer to prayer. It's these friendships that cause me to say, "My God you are so good". We are better together. I could not do life without them.
BUT I have learned things in friendships.
And this is the advice I would give, for longevity in your friendships:
Keep your skin thick, and your heart soft, not the other way around.
Lower your expectations.
Cultivate close friendships in all areas of your life. I have high school besties, church besties, crafty creative besties and we've-known-eachother-forever besties. Having friendships in different circles is healthy - just like it's healthy to have more than just one very bestest friend.
I know how it feels to be someone's 'everything' friend. It's a heavy burden to bear, and quickly becomes toxic. Let a girl breathe, peeps!
Speak truth in love. Be honest + kind. Respond, don't react.
Be aware of the seasons in your friendship. There's a time to give. There's a time to stand back. There's a time for speaking up, and a time to stay quiet. And there's always time for tea, cake and silliness.
Know when to let go. Guard your heart first. If it needs to end, that's okay. Be thankful for the good stuff, let go of the bitterness and move on knowing you are not to blame.
And when I sent this text to my 10 besties: "Why are you still friends with me? What makes me the kind of friend you want? And what could make me a better friend" the general consensus of what makes me the kind of friend they want?
A U T H E N T I C I T Y
Lets just be real with each other girls.
"Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world" [and to each other]**
*Romans 12:9-10 (A mix of The Message, NLT, NIV and AMP)
** Brene Brown - read Daring Greatly, read it, read it, read it.