It isn’t always easy to do the right thing. If it was we wouldn’t make a big deal out of it when someone does. Fortunately most people can see truth when it’s in front of them. This quote pretty much says it all. Moral courage. Wow that’s a big one. Some might say we live in a society that rarely rewards moral courage and rarely condemns its lack there of for that matter either. Few people want to get involved in things they feel are not any of their business. Few people will stand up for what’s right and wrong in a marked manner. Few people want to “choose a side” as if somehow that was a bad thing. Some would rather just look the other way. It may be an inconvenient truth for them or worse yet, some may choose a side based on evaluating perceived personal gain and convince themselves their actions and behavior is valid and justified. Sometimes they do choose to get involved (hopefully from a place of goodness) and stand up for what’s right. Sometimes it’s after the fact, leaving one to think, gee that might’ve really been helpful information to me a while ago. However, even delivered late it can still be meaningful, appreciated and of great value for clarification and discernment. It’s one thing to do that when it truly isn’t any of your business, but to do that when it’s someone close to you, well, that is a bit more complicated and with complex ramifications. It’s impossible to play both sides of a field at one time. Herein lies the struggle of remaining “neutral” as people often like to say. As if that is somehow an admirable quality. Ignoring reprehensible behavior without accountability for actions, is thereby condoning the behavior. The real admiration goes to those who have the moral courage to do and say something when it’s clearly, absolutely abhorrent and not pretend something is acceptable when it isn’t, or even worse pretend it didn’t actually occur altogether. That’s why they call it courage. It isn’t always easy, but it’s always the right thing to do.
There’s an old saying, “You can’t pick your family, but you can pick your friends.”
The word friend can mean different things to different people. And of course, there are different types of friends; neighbor friends, work friends, childhood friends, casual friends, social friends, couples friends, family friends and the best of all, the jewels of friendship, the close friends. Defining friendship is something we do throughout our lives especially at the times when we need them the most. This is when we separate the men from the boys so to speak, or in female terms, the women from the girls. When any type of difficulty or tragedy occurs in someone’s life the one thing they need the most is to be loved unconditionally, surrounded and supported by those they know they can trust and count on, that they know value the friendship between them and care enough to say, “I’m so very sorry for your pain. I wish I could do something to take that pain away but I’m here without judgement or ill motives, and I’m not going anywhere.” That’s the time when we separate the women from the girls, the boys from the men. This is when those old and lifelong friends you’ve lost touch with reach out and rally around you with love and support. Of course we all know there’s nothing anyone can do to take away pain and suffering when it’s pain from a loss or devastating situation or betrayal of any kind, but the friendships that surround us when these things occur in life, see us through. Never allow anyone to be cruel or bully you into hurrying up or “shutting up” about what you’re feeling or “healing” on their time for their own agenda because it’s inconvenient or uncomfortable for them. This time is yours. Never allow them to devalue or minimize your pain. No one has the right to do that to another. It is real and it is yours. No one knows your pain as well as you and a true friend will not make judgements about you, how quickly you’re healing, or attempt to minimize or devalue your pain during this difficult process for their own selfish, judgmental and unfeeling reasons.
Sometimes we find friends in the most unlikely places and the ones we expected to see us through and be true through the terrible storm disappear from view or betray the friendship all together. Sometimes people appear to assist that you never expected to be in your corner. Perhaps they’ve been through a similar pain, or simply reach out to you from a place of compassion and kindness. Perhaps you never knew how much they thought of you as a person and now is the time to tell, support and show you. The reasons for disappearing may vary, not wanting to see the truth of matters because it’s inconvenient, perhaps it brings about memories of their own that are too painful to face or reconcile with, or perhaps they were not a friend for honest or the purest of reasons to begin with. Either way, it’s sometimes a necessary chore to “clean house” of the people who bring you further pain and more negativity in your greatest time of need. This allows for more time focused to celebrate the ones in your life who positively lift you up, encourage you, and allow you to grieve at your own pace and in your own time without judgements or cruelties. For they know this is temporary and time heals, or at the very least allows more time for the scar to form over. When that time has come and the metamorphosis of healing has completed, the bonds of friendship will be even stronger and have more value than ever imagined. As another old saying goes, “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”
Someone you trusted for years is untrustworthy.
Someone you knew to be honorable is dishonorable.
Someone you believed was faithful is faithless.
Someone you knew to have integrity, has none.
Someone you knew to have class, is classless.
Someone who made promises to you did not keep them.
Someone you knew to be a Christian does not follow Christ.
Someone who constantly claimed how much they loved you, did not.
Someone who was your priority was unappreciative of all you did.
Someone who was judgmental, is actually trashy.
Someone who was accomplished, created a myth of successes.
Someone you thought was just moody, was mentally ill.
Someone you believed was just under work pressures, had an addiction.
Someone you loved deeply was a complete and total stranger.
Someone who intended to erase you, released you.
Someone who discarded you, unchained you.
Someone who attempted to crush your spirit, helped it flourish.
Someone who wished to destroy your joy out of spite actually pushed you toward instantaneous good fortune, and more love and support than you ever knew you had.
Someone with envy, jealousy and coldness in their heart, sent you out to where God was waiting all along to embrace, reward, and lift you up to where you belonged.
Parents, teach your sons to be kind. Show them what it means to be honorable, ethical, moral, generous, trustworthy, principled, to have integrity and accountability. Teach them how to properly give and receive love. Let them learn and understand what it means to be truthful, loyal, respectful, and to always communicate with honesty. Teach them to always be gentlemen, to open doors, to be thoughtful, helpful, selfless, grateful, generous, and appreciative. Show them how to walk alongside a woman, not ahead and in front of them. Teach your sons how to be a good man, and teach your daughters to accept nothing less.
“You can spend all your time making money. You can spend all your love making time.”
“Take it to the Limit” by The Eagles (1975).
At some point, we should stop ourselves for a moment and feel grateful for the gifts and blessings we’ve been given in life. Not just for any financial or career success we receive, (or have been given) but the gifts of family and friendship as well. If we were to constantly obsess over the accumulation of wealth by chasing more and more of it without end, we miss out on seeing and appreciating what we already have achieved. Like what’s it all for anyway? When is it enough? This is just one of the extremely significant indicators of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The never-ending need to accumulate, save and hoard their money, in order to be admired and revered as better than others. They will however, spend it generously when attempting to impress someone. What really matters most to mentally healthy persons on the other hand, are the people in their lives. Money to a healthy person serves a purpose to survive comfortably, to afford the ability to live a good life, perhaps to travel and live well, be able to be generous and charitable by giving back, and for being able to enjoy life and those special people in it. Money isn’t made for the purpose of admiration and gaining respect of others they feel are beneath them in order to feel superior, or to connect with those on a higher income level hoping for an opportunity to do business with them to accumulate more money as someone with this disorder will often do. For a healthy person, their financial state is not a purposeless purpose of lifelong saving and accumulating. A healthy person isn’t having the people closest to them spend more of their own money on things as frequently as this can be covertly done. A narcissist will do just that. They will also avoid it being made obvious to others around them. This is something a narcissist is very good at doing. Subtle avoidance of spending. There’s more to life than constantly comparing yourself to others success and obsessing over continuous financial accumulation. No matter how much there is, there will never be enough of it to fill their private emptiness. Be aware of this behavior and its significance. It’s key. Always be grateful and appreciative. Let it be enough because one day, when you least expect it, it’ll have to be.