Good Friends, Good Times, Good Health: Cultivating Quality Friendships

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“True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it be lost.”

Charles Caleb Colton

When it comes to friendship, “enriching, healthy, loving and meaningful” are words that come to mind for me. Truthfully, creating meaningful, lasting friendships has been a big challenge for me, for most of my life. I’ve spent more time than I care to admit, wondering if there was something about me, something wrong with me, that hindered me in developing and growing quality, loving, supportive and healthy friendships. I have found comfort in recognizing that my childhood, in many ways, had a huge impact on my ability to establish, nurture and grow healthy, loving and lasting relationships.

My family moved many times when I was a kid, as my father served in the Air Force for twenty five years, twelve of which I grew up in. Moving frequently, as a child, at least for me, did not foster my ability to create friendships, much less provide me with any sense of stability upon which I could create much of anything, including my own self identity, self esteem, etc, which is essential in healthy friendships. Today, I am grateful for continued awareness, the inner work that I have done, my commitment to my own health and well being, and my intention and desire every day to appreciate the precious, sacred and loving friendships that I now have in my life. They say you don’t miss what you never had, which I think was true of me, for much of my life. As I tell my coaching clients, and audiences, “all that really matters is Now.” This “now” moment is all we have, in which to make new, healthy, loving, nurturing choices, that can transform your life instantly.

In our drama filled world, with reality shows and news programs that typically highlight negativity and dysfunction, it can be challenging to find examples of healthy, loving, supportive friendships. But, the good news is, they do exist…Everywhere. I believe, often times, that the difficulty lies in “recognizing” what an ideal and wonderful friendship consists of, since we are inundated with the chaos and daily drama that can easily be perceived as the norm.

I invite you to take an honest inventory of your friendships and see which ones truly support and uplift you, feel good to you, and offer you a sense of connection, of “belonging,” of community, of family. Notice the ones that seem to be, or are, an ongoing “stressor” in your life. Notice how you feel when you’re around people that you consider as a friend.

YOUR HEALTH AND WELL BEING IS STRONGLY AFFECTED BY YOUR FRIENDSHIPS.

PAY ATTENTION, AND ASK YOURSELF A FEW QUESTIONS:

1. Am I exhausted when I spend time with my friends? Why?

2. Do I really enjoy their company? Why?

3. Do I look forward to seeing them, or is it an obligation?

4. What do I want to do with friendships that feel obligatory, or do I? Why/why not?

5. Why am I willing to settle for friendships that are unhealthy for me?

6. What are the different types of friendships that I have? How do I honor them and myself?

7. Do my friendships make me a better person? Why?

8. Do I have healthy boundaries in my friendships? If not, why?

9. How do I appreciate, honor and nurture my friendships?

10. Do I consider myself to be a loving, healthy, supportive friend? Yes/no? Why?

11. Do I currently have unhealthy friendships that I need to release? What will I do?

12. What am I willing to do, to take better care of myself, and learn to be my own best friend?

“Life is a journey, and what better way to share the journey of love, laughter and joy, with the gift of a priceless gem: A precious and beautiful friend.

I am an Inspirational/Motivational Speaker, Workshop Presenter and Life, Wellness, Weight, Spiritual Coach, and more.

Please visit my website: www.jeanieward.com for more info. Contact me to schedule a 30 minute complementary coaching session.

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