I used to think that friends were the people who unconditionally comforted you when you felt wronged, showed up for you when you felt needy and insecure, joined you in righteous indignation when you felt angry, and validated you when life isn’t going your way. I thought friends would be unconditional cheerleaders, and you would always feel better after being with a friend. But lately, I’ve realized that my most valuable friends are the ones who stand for my soul, even when that means saying something my ego doesn’t want to hear.
When a friend stands for your soul, she holds you accountable to your highest potential and expects you to do the same for her. When a friend stands for your soul, she understands how your ego operates- and loves and accepts you in spite of- even because of- what she knows. But she doesn’t sit by complacently when she watches you create your own suffering. She calls you on it lovingly and pushes you in the direction of your highest self.
No “Story Fondling”
When a friend stands for your soul, she holds you and comforts you when you feel wronged, but she doesn’t engage in story fondling with you. She knows there’s no need to hash and rehash your sob story, because doing so only keeps you stuck. As soon as you’ve grieved and lashed out and you feel strong enough, a friend who stands for your soul reminds you that it’s time to end your pity party and be in the solution. She even helps you find meaning in whatever left you feeling hurt or angry because she knows even tragedies aren’t random, that life is purposeful, even when it’s hard.
When a friend stands for your soul, he’s willing to say what others won’t, the things people might be whispering behind your back because they don’t love you enough to say it to your face. But he never intends to be critical, and he’s never, ever mean. He is wind beneath your wings, helping to lift you higher, and he trusts that you will give him the same gift.