“Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity” Khalil Gibran
This may seem obvious, but in practice I can often forget.

The statement, ‘relationships are a responsiblity’, came to me in my meditation this morning.  Examining it further I realise that my relationships are like plants: they require watering, feeding and nurturing, and when I do that they tend to flourish.  When I don’t, they tend to wilt. 

Of course it takes two to make and sustain a relationship, and sometimes I carry more of the responsibility, by staying in touch, and sometimes the other person does.  It takes energy and commitment to sustain our precious relationships. 

In our busy lives it’s easy not to make time for our friendships, but when you really stop to think how important those relationships are and have been to you, you might find yourself wanting to pick up the phone and connect with those dear to you.

Sometimes it seems like I’m giving and giving, and not getting a lot back, but then I remember that many times, I have been on the receiving end of my friends giving to me.  And then I ask myself, why in the world l’m totting up how much I’ve given and how much they owe?!

I have discovered that there is such pleasure to be gained in giving.  It’s not give or take; in the giving you receive.  Both happen simultaneously.

I spent  a lot of my life believing that somehow the world and its mother owed me…for all the pain, heartache, challenges and difficulties I’ve been through.  Hah!  The problem with that mindset, apart from the fact that it’s a lie, is that however much any one gives, it’s never enough.  When you believe the world, or someone in particular owes you, you will constantly be hungering for more.

Relationships are a responsibility because they take work.  Sometimes you have to sacrifice your wants for the other person’s.  Sometimes you have to give without wanting to give.  Sometimes you have to sacrifice your own desires for another’s.  I’m not a parent, but I know parents do this almost every day for their children.  But the resounding refrain is that they get so much more in return. 

Who could you connect with today?  Who would benefit from a loving hello?  Who could you give to, just for the sake of giving?  Can you give without expectation of return? 

Friends have got me through the worst, and the best of times.  Their love, support and kindness have carried me through so much, and so often. 

Spend some time today reconnecting with those who have stood by you in the darkness and the light; nurture your relationships and enjoy them bloom.

 TRY THIS:  

Think of someone in your life you would like to connect with.  Give them a call or drop them a line and tell them how much they mean to you; appreciate them, just for who they are and what they mean to you in your life.  Notice how you feel when you do this.

You might want to offer to do something for them that they would find helpful, such as looking after their kids for an afternoon.  Offer it with no expectation of anything in return; just give out of your loving heart and gratitude for their friendship to you.  Enjoy the connection.