Yellow roses represent friendship.
Look around. Are you surrounded by people who are real friends?
“Of course,” some might respond.
But others might use the question as an exercise to evaluate the people they believe are friends. Or those they have questions about.
We each have our own criteria for friendship, don’t we?
But sometimes our hearts are so accepting that we allow ourselves to be treated poorly by a “friend.”
Until one day, the blinders come off and then we see the person as they are. At least as they are in reference to us.
Almost 30 years ago at the height of the AIDS epidemic I trained to be an emotional support volunteer to people with HIV. Emotional support volunteers were expected to be emotionally stable themselves,. They had to be able to not only handle the grief that accompanies the many HIV-related deaths but strong enough to support our assigned person and/or their families.
One of the most eye-opening exercises we did in that two-weekend training was a guided visualization through our own death and funeral. It was powerful.
Near the end of the exercise, we looked in on our own funerals–and the facilitator asked us two impactful questions.
Who is at your funeral?
And who is NOT?
The “attend your own funeral” exercise alone can be helpful, even without going through an extensive visualization of our own death. Just asking ourselves if each of our friends would be at our funeral might elicit a different view of the relationship. Identifying those who would NOT be at our funeral is even more interesting.
When I did this back in 1989, I was surprised to discover that someone I loved would not attend my funeral. I knew they wouldn’t. As I visualized that person not going, I even knew their rationale for not attending.
Now, I’m not saying I’d end a friendship if I thought someone wouldn’t go to my funeral. I’m saying that the exercise can provide a new perspective on a friendship. Fresh insight, you might say. That’s what it did for me.
It also might be the catalyst for thoughts about what you consider the mark of real friends.
I hope you’ll try it. And if you do, I’d love to know what you discovered.
Let me know what you think in the Comments below. Thank you!