Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2011
in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social
This picture creates many mixed feelings for me; the most evident feeling is loneliness.
The picture reminds me of who I might have become if I never learned to be a friend.
My best friends growing up were our dogs. My dog was a friendly, patient, German Shepherd named Shawn.
Shawn was the best friend I had, but I needed people-friends too.
Sitting in my basement bedroom was my high school haven. Posters on the wall, a dog on my bed, clothes on the floor and music in my head. It was my room. All mine.
While I did enjoy my personal space, it wasn’t until I embraced my loneliness that I became a friend.
Embracing My Loneliness
I hid from my feelings.
The heavier the feelings were the more I disengaged.
Loneliness became sadness.
Sadness led to hurt.
Hurt without healing led to anger.
Unresolved anger grew into resentment.
Resentment unchecked and internalized became depression.
I didn’t embrace my loneliness I anaesthetized it: music, games, books, and hours and hours of TV.
I had to get out of the basement!
Coming Out Of The Basement
Maybe you intuitively know how to be a friend — Great! — I didn’t.
While I hated feeling down and lonely, I never thought I had a choice about it.
Peers didn’t like me. I annoyed adults.
What changed? Depending on how well you know me you might think nothing changed, but it did.
I decided that I would become the kind of person who would be a good friend.
I knew I couldn’t do it myself.
I needed help to know how to become a good friend.
I needed God’s help.
I needed to ask God’s forgiveness for my self-centeredness.
I needed to ask God’s help to care about others.
I pray for God’s help — Please God help me…” and opened my Bible. In it I read for principles for being a good friend:
- Romans 14:13
“Let us stop passing judgment on one another…”
- Romans 15:7
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you…”
- Ephesians 4:2
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
- Ephesians 4:32
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.“
What’s it take to be a good friend? Those four things and more.
How can you become a better friend?
Embrace your loneliness.
Ask God for help.
Choose to live like a good friend would and people will pursue your friendship.