Friendship is HARD! But, in a good way, right?
Who doesn’t love a sweet been-to-hell-and-back-and-bought-the-tee-shirt friend? Mine are a pure goldmine of treasures to me, but not one of them came easily. Friendship is not a stroke of good luck. My often steely, and sometimes soggy friends have me riveted to their side. Shallow sentiment and good intentions have their place, and it’s not sugared on top of real friendship. Save that crap for the movies, because it doesn’t function as love and it never will. One thing’s for sure: my favorite friendships were good long before they were great.
The great ones have been seasoned like a perfect baking stone with questions. In this series I’m writing for #write31days (a 31 day writing challenge, every October, every day), I’ll be telling you a few of my favorite ones. I hope you’ll join me for the adventure that I’m calling Cultivate Courageous: Questions That Grow Good Friendships Great.
This year I have had some soul-quenching conversations with people in my life, the kind you linger in the memory of, wanting it to stay. Chance encounters and serendipitous reunions with people who changed my life with their intentional friendship. These crazy sweet meet-ups have graced my life lately – so many of them that I’ve had to ask God, “Am I dying? Is there something I should know?” Because this is the kind of roll-call I would expect bedside in my final hours. But, I’m in excellent health! I’ve concluded I’m just getting goodness (like, again, it’s relentless) from God in the shape of people who have cared about me for years – showing up with impeccable timing. I want to tell you what they’ve taught me.
What you can expect
At the start of this series, I invite you put on your big girl pants (gentlemen, God bless you, please forgive my gender-bias!) and saddle up for a revolutionary assumption. I want you to dare to believe this with me:
Close relationships require brave hope and care, they don’t just happen without it, and a friendship can flourish or whither in direct correlation to the quality of the questions we are willing to ask – especially if we’re smart enough to shut up and listen.
What’s courageous about growing a friendship stronger? It takes guts to go there. You know what I’m talking about.
In every friendship there are eggshells to walk on, and ditches you must each vault on the way to a bridge of trust. And chances are, if you don’t have high quality of friendships in your life, you are not daring yourself to risk what it takes to have them. Because it will take risks; little ones first, big ones in time.
Ouch. I’m sorry if that hurt. Real friends risk to ask real questions, and every question is a little risky. Here’s some incredibly good news, though(right when you need it). Every friendship risk builds your curiosity muscles in the same way that every step gets you closer to a goal. And healthy curiosity goes a very long way.
“You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.”
Matt Damon, We Bought A Zoo
And guess what’s waiting at the end of all this courage? Not her, and not him, but you. The real you who longs to be known. The one who is worth the trouble, the time, and the love of genuine friends. I hope you’ll join me for some silly and serious courage-cultivation on the way to great friendships.
Here’s what to do
You will find the complete list of 2016 #CultivateCourageous posts here just in case you miss any, but to avoid that sad state of affairs, just
- Subscribe to get new posts delivered hot and fresh right to your inbox every day for a month. Subscribers will also get a treat at the end of the series just for hanging with me! OR…
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- Follow me on Instagram. My daily posts will show in your feed and when you see one you’re interested in, tap the link in my bio and it will bring you back here!
Or, all of the above. Why not? You’re a risk-taking queen!
Because life is richer in courageous connection.
P.S. If you miss a post in this series or you just like to cut to the chase, all #CultivateCourageous posts are listed in order over here. No, thank YOU.