My love,

I have fond memories of friends: laughing, sharing, trusting, creating, loving. I remember the sweet times well and will hopefully carry those memories forever. For me, sweet Babe, establishing friends has been a bit difficult. My shy demeanour, although not a fault, has presented challenges when meeting new people. It wasn't until university that I overcame that shyness to turn around and smile at a girl picking up a first-year introduction package and said "hi". She became my best friend in university...pretty much from that moment on. Allowing myself to let others in has been another hurdle. Sometimes I trust and love and like so hard, that I lead myself into disappointment. Sadly the most precious gift that I have been given by others, the gift of letting me into their trusted area to become "friend", has sometimes slipped through my fingers. Not necessarily by intention or neglect, just inexperience and passing time.

But my Babe, when you open your heart and mind to the opportunity to great friendships, the fundamental element of our beings, you open your life to great possibilities, experience, and love. So this lesson is about nurturing that gift "one of the most enduring and wonderful gifts of being alive" (Dr. Binder-Byrnes).

As noted by a psychologist and contributor to GOOP.com, in a newsletter regarding friendship:

Friendship is universal in humanity. As we grow, some friendship develop with us for a lifetime providing companionship, support and love for each other's beings. [...] Friendship, throughout our lives, serves as a mirror of our very essence. The love, laughter, and concern we share with friends gives us a sense of self. [...]Our friends become our historians, secret keepers and comrades on life's journey.

Life continuously changes as do we as people. Acknowledging this can be the first step in nurturing a friendship. For, although we share common experiences, we will ultimately begin to move along. Changes sometimes occur slowly and organically but those that don't cause tension. Embrace and support the positive changes in each other's lives and your friendship becomes stronger.

Long lasting friendships are a constant balancing act of give and take. Listen often. Share the same. Voice your opinions. Brace for others.

Utter acceptance.

Be honest and genuine.

"In essence, our friends are the life-affirming fountain from which we drink. Good friends fill us up with warmth, honesty and a sense of well-being. [They don't diminish your life experience rather enhance it]"

Dr. Karen Binder-Byrnes

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