Friends are all you need in your life

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 30, 2004

Thomas Moore wrote in his book Soul Mates, that "Each friend is indeed a world-a special sphere of certain emotions, experiences, memories, and qualities of personalityŠWe are all made up of many worlds and each friendship brings one or more of those worlds to life.&uot;

I recently learned that the importance of having friends who care about you and support you cannot be diminished. As children, our friends teach us new ways to relate to the world. Friends validate who we are. Friends are another source of information about who we are-our values, our beliefs, and our goals.

So how many good friends do you have?

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I have come to realize that you have two sets of friendships in your life.

You have lifelong friends, those people who are in and out of your life, but then you have those "true friends"

I recently evaluated my friendships and came up with some questions.

Does still having grade school friends mean I am loyal and committed to staying in touch or do I feel safest with long-time relationships? Does having recent friends mean I have grown and changed and would not have much in common with older acquaintances? Or do I not keep in touch with high school or college buddies the way I would like, so they fade away?

I really think it has to do with your heart. I believe for you to have new connections in life, you have to open your heart. If you are skittish about it, your new friendships may not be so strong.

In the past I would not easily share any cold or illness with others. Recently I caught the flu and was able to tell my good friends. They kept calling to check on me offering their concern and care.

I learned that as long as I am real with them, they're there.

They don't replace me because I'm sick or because I can't get them up the social ladder. They're just there.

I have also learned that often, some may take friendships for granted.

We all need special people in our lives to whom we can show our souls. But relationships need to be nurtured, nourished, and celebrated. Friendships won’t last with out "food."

I am blessed to be a part of

group of men and women who are friends in the truest sense of the word.

They are there through the good and bad.

We support and nurture each other.

Once a week, we gather for dinner and spend an evening telling about the ups and downs of our lives.

You wouldn't believe how much good it does me to be able to pick up the phone and call anyone of them and know they are there to lend an ear or shoulder.

We have come to help each other out tremendously during huge life changes. As a group or individuals we listen, comfort and support.

They are my friends when the sun shines, and they are my friends on the darkest of days.

Acceptance of friends is a golden gift.

So to the MGM Supper Club, I would like to say thank you for being there.

For listening to my triumphs, tragedies, my tears and my for giving me laughter once again.

I would encourage everyone to find your niche of friends and make a solid foundation.

You'll find that life goes a bit easier and you'll find that you never truly walk through life alone. Call a friend today and renew your relationship. Better yet, get together. It will feed your soul.

Jay Thomas is the managing editor of The Greenville Advocate.

He can be reached via phone at 334-382-3111, ext. 136 or via email at jay.thomas@greenvilladvocate. com.