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Reciprocated Friendship

During the past 50 years Thanksgiving acquired a sidekick by the name of "Friendsgiving" Possibly, just maybe, brought about by the famous Thanksgiving episode of Friends, what we do know about the Friendsgiving is that it is celebrated with friends that matter so much that they are like family. Friendships that definitely, at least hopefully, are fully  reciprocated.

With the holiday season over and the parties coming to a close .... who are those you continue to see? Who are the friends that fill your table, physically and figuratively, and are they inviting you to theirs?

With raising three kids in the ages of when friendship is so important, I find myself on  a daily basis discussing friendships. Even as an adult I've noticed that as my children grow older a bigger light has come to shine on my own friendships.

But what exactly is a good friend? What friendship is worth keeping and which ones should you let go that are no longer serving you? What cultivates a friendship past the point of an acquaintance? There are many opinions and many definitions found in magazines, books, television and movies,  but what if yogic philosophy was applied to friendship? Would we find an old age application that would simplify the process and ultimately give the BEST answer?

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, outline an eight-limbed path for clearing the body and mind. These "steps"are an embedded part of yoga culture, providing yogis with a philosophy for how to make their way through the world. They are the starting place of yoga—meant to be practiced before your physical practice on the mat. 

Looking at the social guidelines laid out in the yamas of the sutras, yogis are to avoid violence, lying, stealing, wasting energy, and possessiveness. Pretty straight forward in the world of definitions. A friendship worthy of energy and a "keeper" would follow these guidelines as well. 

*A true friend doesn't bring harm mentally, emotionally or physically to you. - No violence through words, gossip or physical touch. 

*A real friend wouldn't lie to you in their actions or words. Keeping truth in their values and interactions with you. Sticking by your side as a supporter with words or without. Maybe it's a hug of support or the kind words you need to hear after the world seems to be failing you. All done in truth.

*Lies never produce a solid foundation. Even white lies begin to grow and snowball into bigger bundles. If lies or withholding truths are found the words fake and false come to mind ... what friendship would you want to keep with such descriptors? 

*A true friend doesn't steal your happiness, your belongings, your "thunder", your time or energy. A friend adds to all these and celebrates them as well. 

*Is there a friend that always seems too busy to meet or chooses others over you while claiming to be a good friend?? These actions in turn waste energy that you could be placing in building another friendship that values you and your energy. 

 *A friend shares you with the world and others because they value you as a person and friend, acknowledging that others would benefit from all the great attributes you possess. A friend doesn't hide you from others nor do they demand your complete attention or unfair expectations. 

A reciprocated friendship feels like an internal familiar blanket ... warm, comforting, supportive and there when you need it. In turn, you care for the blanket washing when needed, folding with care and putting it out of reach of the dog. It is cherished and both friends within are equally cherished by one another. 

Written By Brooke H.

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