Since I became clear on my mission in 2008 and launched Owning Pink in 2009, Iíve worked my ass off to bring my vision to being. And itís working!† Patients are transforming their lives, healers are waking up and amplifying the collective message with me, and the seeds of change for how health care could be delivered and received have been planted.† Traffic to†my blog about being healthy in all aspects of your life is ramping up. I got to talk about†my radical new wellness model at TEDxWomen in San Francisco. Iíll be rocking the stage with my message with Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Doreen Virtue, Cheryl Richardson, and other transformational catalysts at†I Can Do It! IGNITE – San Jose in March. And my book†Mind Over Medicine will be published by Hay House in 2013.
The Price of Success
But these professional accomplishments have come at a price. While Iíve made careful choices to prioritize my husband, daughter, and mother, Iíve recently awakened to the fact that Iíve neglected others I love in the process. As the network of people in my social sphere has expanded – via social media, colleagues, blog and book readers, etc. – some of the friends I deeply value have unwittingly gotten pushed into the corners. Those who have asked for my time have gotten it. If a friend calls and needs me, Iíll drop everything. If they email me, I email back.
But those who have stood back and waited for me to come to them (often because theyíre mindful of how busy Iíve gotten and donít want to ask anything of me) have gotten less of me. And this makes me sad.
What Makes A Good Friend
In talking to some of these people – and healing – I began to ask my friends what they needed in order to feel loved. I realized that we all have different definitions of friendship. For some, it means remembering birthdays and sending cards on Valentineís Day. For others, itís about Sunday night phone calls or weekly emails. Others donít give a flip if they donít hear from you for a year, as long as you pick up where you left off at that once a year meeting. What we need from those we love is very individual.
According to†Wikipedia, ďValue that is found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating the following on a consistent basis:
- The tendency to desire what is best for the other
- Sympathy and empathy
- Honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one’s counterpart
- Mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support
- Enjoyment of each other’s company
- Trust in one another
- Positive reciprocity ó a relationship is based on equal give and take between the two parties.
- The ability to be oneself, express one’s feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgment.
I love this definition, because it doesnít define friendship by those external factors – the birthday cards or the obligatory phone calls. Instead, it gets to the essence of what it means to truly be a friend.