Welcome to All About Happiness, DOYOU’s new weekly column by happiness-expert Sandy Galiano. If you want to stay up to day about happiness, sign up for our newsletter or check out Sandy Galiano’s website at sandygaliano.com.
Each person has their own personality, thoughts, and ideas. We choose friends based on sharing some of the same interests or because we happen to be on a similar path in life. Our first friendships in our early youth gave us a long lasting impression of what it means to be a friend, to have a friend, and to share friendships among groups. One of the greatest lessons we learn is the meaning of a true friendship.
Connecting with Someone
Something has brought us to a certain person at a certain time. We meet one or more person(s) who become an integral part of our life. For example, I have had friendships with the opposite sex which have served to better understand the men in my life. There were similarities I could see without judgement because it was a friend who was with me. I was then able to appreciate what I had in my own life. In this case I realized my boyfriend at the time was not the only man who said and did dumb things. Likewise, I taught my male friends the fierceness I carried as a woman alongside compassion. This type of friendship with boundaries can sometimes make the obvious clear rather than oblivious. These are very useful friendships for learning and teaching purposes.
In my life, up to this moment, I have lost three friends. The first was the only person outside of my family I considered my best friend. She was the only person I loved like a sister and could never imagine my life without. Mind you, I have three sisters and a brother who are my best friends since forever and nobody could ever reach that level of closeness until this friend. Then things started to fall apart. We drifted apart and it wasn’t until I realized it was over for good that I cried so hard I could feel my heart bleed. It was worse than a break up with a man. Losing my best friend was terrible. The second person I lost was the only boyfriend who was my best friend. He accepted me for who I was and wasn’t. He made me laugh and likewise I made him laugh. We were two very different people who were very much alike. Distance drifted us apart and till this day it hurts having lost him not because he was my boyfriend, but because he was my best friend. The third friend I lost was shortly after losing the second so as you could imagine it was difficult to embrace change when everything was changing so fast.
Change is present whether we feel it or not. We travel through life, always with our inner guidance trusting in destiny to bring us who we need in our lives and who we don’t need anymore. Everything happens for a reason.
Through my own life lessons I have learned the key to a true friendship. It isn’t acceptance or trust. It isn’t some new invention or way of thinking. It’s quite simple. The key is laughter. When we make that connection and laugh together, then it feels so good. We smile and every part of our inner being expresses delight. Facial expressions and our physical manifestations are all involuntary showing all those around who may be watching that we are joyous. We are content. We are happy.
Reflecting back to my third friend I lost I discover something new. We were not true friends because we never allowed ourselves to get to that place. Our conversations were gossiping and our actions were trying to be two people we were not. We were trying to live a different lifestyle than our own. There was little time to laugh because we were too busy pretending.
Then there are the true friendships I have with my three sisters and brother who make me laugh so hard I cry. Every time we get together we end up cracking up that not even sound comes out during laughter; both my hands are on my belly and I am too happy to care how I look. The beauty of laughter is it incorporates acceptance of individuality, ideas, and thoughts through a deep trust. A true friend will laugh with you in the good times as well as the bad times. You will have memories to look back at and laugh, not regret. A true friend knows laughing is all about happiness.
Share a moment of laughter you had with your true friend!