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Francis De Sales On Godly and Toxic Relationships

sgg"My child, love everyone with the pure love of charity, but have no friendship save with those whose interaction is good and true."

FRANCIS De Sales (1567-1622) gives what seems like very contemporary advice - don't nurture friendships with toxic people. It's not only unbecoming of believing people who are supposed to be nurturing holy relationships, it's also such a waste of time and emotional energy.

If a person proves they have no regard for you, or for those you care about, this is a relationship God flags as toxic - if you venture more deeply into it. It should be allowed to wane. If we're clear about love we're clear also about what takes us closer and further away from love. Whatever takes us away from love should be resisted and rebuffed.

A Christian person should not feel guilty one iota for spurning a friendship with someone - anyone - who isn't committed to love; to trying to love. Is not Jesus more important than our brother, sister or mother? (Mark 3:35) Indeed, part of our Christian discipleship is to surrender, before God, to discern his


Top 7 Thoughts on Nurturing and Keeping a Friendship

gtFriendship is commonly defined as "a relationship between two or more friends". The direction that the friendship takes really depends on the parties involved and how much they value the relationship. Over the years, I have seen friendships develop and strengthen, and yet others start and evaporate.

When two or more people become friends and take time to learn and appreciate one another as they are, this is friendship. However, one that continuously points out the other person's weaknesses and does not seek to improve on those weaknesses is one to flee from.

Below are my top 7 thoughts on nurturing and keeping a friend:

1. Be yourself

Do not try to be like someone else, you are special just as you are. Each person on this earth is God's unique workmanship. If someone accepts this and does not try to change you into what he or she wants, that is a friend.

2. Be honest

Honesty in a relationship builds trust and confidence between the parties involved. One will know from the onset that the person he/she is dealing with can be trusted. In this way, the relationship will

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The Gift of Loneliness

sgHave you ever felt like an outsider, always struck on the outside looking in? You never sat at the cool kids table for lunch, never lived the glam life or had a posse. In fact, you may not have had many friends at all.

Let me tell you a secret, neither did I. (At least not until much later in my life.) And having those experiences, the ones where I felt so alone, turned out to be a GIFT. Why do I say that? Because it gives you a unique understanding of the basic human need for love. I, like you, know what it means to be lonely, to feel that you are somehow flawed and unlovable. That you are broken in some hidden way that others can see, but you struggle to define. Your family may have taught you that you do not matter.

Society may have shown you that you do not have worth. The truth is, that you do. You fill a spot in the world that no one else can fill. You understand your own painful past, you know what it is

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On Choosing Friends

f4The birth of friendship

According to C. S. Lewis, friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: "What? You too... ? I thought I was the only one."

We cannot be friends unless we have at least one thing in common. That one thing could only be just a common thought that when nourished transitions an acquaintance to a friendship.

When a friend turns foe

Recently, a friend ran into relationship's anxiety attack. She parked all her emotional baggage with her alter-ego, but when the trust between the two began to droop, the former went shattered. I wouldn't know until she chose me her therapist.

Fortunately, the therapy led to fruition. She went nursed and healed. And, in the counselor's pedestal, even I learned from her scars. I noted that her 'self-disclosure' reposing trust in me brought us closer.

She left leaving me into a reflection mode. And, in my thoughts birthed a rendezvous with you.

Observe keenly, Measure silently

It's all good when friends hug, smile and exchange pleasantries. But these don't always spell correct measure of our relationship. Many times these hugs are wrapped under a


How To Add New Energy To Your Life

maAs we get older, friends tend to come and go over time. If your friends seem to have gotten fewer over the years, you might find yourself spending too much time at home alone. And when that happens, it doesn't take much for you to begin feeling lonely and out of touch. It's easy to build a social life once you have a couple of friends, but the first couple can be challenging to find. And the first step is a willingness to move beyond the confines of your home...

Build your social life from scratch:

1. Take responsibility for your social life. It doesn't matter if your parents embarrassed you in the third grade or made your clothes out of old drapes. Your current social life is your responsibility to manage and change.

  • Take responsibility for your relationships, too.
  • While it might be easier to blame others, you lose your power that way. Maintain control of your life.
  • is one popular place to find and connect with others.

2. Take part in a hobby that you can't do at home by yourself. Salsa dancing, bowling, contract bridge,


There Are Many Different Kinds Of Friends

fr"People are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime."

I don't remember if I read this on a greeting card, a meme or what but it has really stuck with me and helped me understand so much. For most of my younger life I wandered around wondering why friends I thought would be friends for life were no longer there for me. I had this idea in my head that if someone was truly a friend they would be there for life.

The fact is there are many different levels of friendships and relationships and if people were more accepting of this fact they would ultimately be much happier. If people would be more honest with one another and more clearly define what their relationship was it would save a lot of misunderstanding and heartache. If people would learn to move on from a relationship that was over they would be better off; learn what there was to learn from it but move on.

All the people that come into your life just are not going to be friends for your whole life


Making Good on a Promise – Part Two

dccIn part one of this series, I relayed about how I wanted to make a difference in public housing since I was once a resident myself. I did hold a Bible study for a few months but not much came of it.

Since that time, I've had time for meditation and reflection. Thanks to social media, I been able to start re-connecting with a few people who have been on my mind. Over a decade ago, I met several children/teens/young adults whose memories have stayed with all these years. I have been praying for each of them ever since.

In 2009, I wrote down the stories about each of them. The stories did not have endings due to life moving on. Now, these children are adults and parents themselves. I go back and forth about whether or not to attempt to make contact out of respect for privacy.

I have started with one. Fortunately, the first conversation was good. I made a commitment in my mind years ago that they would not be left behind. I want to know how they've turned out. I want them to


Healing Aspect of Friendship

frI thank God for my childhood friend. I have one best friend (other than of course, my husband). Actually, I show her more of the raw feelings than my husband because of our backgrounds. We can tell each other anything and have it not be a shock. We have seen every emotion in each other. We have gone through childhood, marriages and raising children to adulthood.

About twelve years ago, I got excited about positive thinking topics. I worked hard on self-improvement and saw results. It's only been in the past four years that I've had difficulty keeping up with it. There are a variety of reasons for this. The kids are grown now. My father died. I've moved a couple of times and left my career. It takes time to build new relationships. What used to be seen as enthusiasm as a young person can be viewed as annoying as an older person. Trends change and opportunities become fewer.

At least one thing the people on my caseload appreciated was that they could talk to me about almost anything. They didn't have to say what


Birds of a Feather Flock Together – How Your Friends Shape Your Lives

duBirds of a Feather Flock Together

"How your friends are shaping your lives for better or worse"

What we condition our self with, and what we surround our self with, has a cogent impact on how we think and how our lives are operated. There are numerous factors which lead to this conditioning. Of these conditions, the inclusion or exclusion of friends is of most importance.

We most often surround our self with "like people", individuals who are similar to us in appearance, beliefs, and like interests. Think of your five closest friends. Chances are, the main thing that ties you two together are like interests. We naturally see the benefits of our friends, yet fail to realize what traits are actually bringing you down.

For example, when a friend of ours becomes obese, our likelihood increases by 57%. When this friend is mutual, the likelihood increases to 171%. This is according to a study done by the New England Journal of Medicine. The actions of our friends dictates what we think is socially acceptable or unacceptable. If it's acceptable for our friend to eat poorly, we find


What’s the Secret of Forming Close Friendships

sxxI wondered, how come that some people are so easily loved. I wondered why their friendships do not fade but last. Why are they almost never dumped and how come they have so many close friends? We all know those people, but how they do it?

I have been thinking what actions define the line between regular friendship and close friendship/healthy relationship.

In simplification, I believe the line is defined by the actions of sacrifaction.

Some scientific studies call it giving: they proved that those people who give the most and appreciate the most are also the one who tend to be loved more than other people. (Do Good Live Well Survey, Feeling Good about Giving: The Benefits (and Costs) of Self-Interested Charitable Behavior)

Today it is easy to make new friends, we live in social environment, we have so many possibilities to make new "friends" yet I believe we struggle in making lasting friendships and relationships. People get used to be friendly and to tell the truth a little bit fake when it's needed. It's often hard for us to distinguish true friends.

Sacrifaction may be the key


The 7 Basic Truths About Lies & Smear Campaigns

dewMost of us have never heard the phrase "lies & smear campaigns". I know I didn't until 18 months ago or so. Until confronted of what was going on behind my back, it never occurred to me that people even did things like this. Whether it came from a parent, a teacher, a spouse or a close friend, we tend to believe what we hear. This is basically a good quality for each of us. Most of us rarely, if ever, question the veracity of a loved one's statements, and this is a fine quality to have. That is, until you find yourself on the receiving end of a toxic smear campaign by a morally disordered narcopath (narcissistic sociopath) hell-bent on destroying everything about you. She has no boundaries, so in her morally depraved mind, nothing is off-limits, be it your marriage, your livelihood, your family ties, and even your very freedom. She can manufacture lies, reveal embarrassing secrets, make false criminal allegations against you without a second thought to the damage wrought.

I'm not saying narcopaths have the lock on lies. We all lie.


Remembering Long Lost Friends

fI don't remember when they first popped up in my life, but I suspect I was about four years old. My memories before kindergarten are few. The family living room was the first room you entered as you came in the front door. We lived in a two family house on the first floor, with my grandparents on the second floor. They actually owned the home which was located on a busy avenue in a small New Jersey city.

My imaginary friends lived in the wall behind the front door. I would knock on the wall and press my face up against it trying to look through the painted sheet rock to catch a glimpse of their world. I guess I created Cooney, Chetty and Susan because I wanted someone to play with. I was so ahead of my time creating a virtual play date.

Usually when asked if they wanted to play, Susan was most times the only one who could, because Chetty and Susan were always going to Florida and leaving Susan home. I felt bad for her. We would dance for hours in


If We Were Having Coffee

coIf we were having coffee, we would meet up at my favorite place, order our coffees and sit down at one of the long community tables. I would look into your eyes, take a deep breath and hold back the tears. You'd say, "talk to me" because you are my friend, and you can read my face without me even saying a word. I'd spill everything, right there in public.

I'd tell you how frustrated I was with life right now, how frustrated I was that the job in Albany didn't work out because of past mistakes and how I was trying hard not to do Karma's job and just letting go. I would tell you how I have had a few interviews for really great jobs but decided not to take them, instead choosing to go out on the road with my husband and play tourist.

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you that, while I should be grateful that I have the opportunity to play tourist in a different country, I still felt unsatisfied, like I didn't matter, like I wasn't making a

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How Do You Turn a Foe Into a Friend?

kiFirst of all, how do you happen to have foes? The next question is the article title itself. Read on because I have got you covered in both the aspects.

How do foes come to exist in your life? It might be for one or more of the following reasons:

1) They are jealous of you and consider you to be their competitor.

2) You had an argument with them in which they lost.

3) They can't stand your good standing or reputation. They feel happy, pulling you down while you strive to continue to succeed.

4) Or, they simply dislike you. They don't like the plethora of knowledge or expertise you possess.

Well, it all boils down to the fact that you are way above them and they would like to hit you down.

How do you handle these typical foes? Well, there are always several way outs. Read on!!

I hit on a few tips here. Utilize them to your advantage. Here they go:

1) Be yourself. By no means, change yourself because of your foes. If you want to change something in you for the better, that's different. But don't

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The Blessing of the Love of Kindness

fhKINDNESS sees in the distance a small thing to be done, a gift of love, and having done it, shies away from any credit, getting on with its day, eyes peeled for a new opportunity.

Kindness dreams of possibilities that God might visit by His Presence; it craves God in the ordinary and in the real.

Everyone loves kindness, except those bystanders who are threatened by its power. Still, a kindness done for that threatened person wins their heart, and timing is crucial.

Kindness is a timely blessing. It has maximum impact when the person receiving it is momentarily needy. And it softens that person's heart, for they've been loved, which is to be met, in their vulnerable moment. (See how unkindness hurts most when we're vulnerable?)

To that end, it could be rejected when the person who's offered it is 'strong' (in their own strength). But the humble receive the love of kindness in the love it's intended.

Humility engenders kindness, because humility sees from another's viewpoint, but through the kind person's eyes. And, oh what a blessed freedom it is, to be focused away from one's needy


Why Do Friendships Come To An End

cxIf one was to think about a close friend, it could be someone they have known for a number of months or it may be a number of years. Yet regardless of how long they have known each other for, they will have a strong connection.

And through having this bond, their life is going to be a lot more fulfilling, and it will also make it easier. One could be in a position where they have a number of close friends, and these people are also going to play a significant part in their life.

Friends Forever

On one hand, there is the chance that one will stay friends with someone until their time on this earth comes to an end (or until the other persons time comes to an end. And on the other hand, there is the chance that their friendship will come to an end before that happens.

There will be people in the past that stayed friends with someone until the end, and there are bound to be people who will also have this experience in the future. It could be said


8 Simple Steps on How to Choose Friends Wisely

derWe all need friends that we can talk to, someone who we can vent our hardships in life. Or we just might want a friend who we can have fun with. Finding the right friend who can meet your expectations can be challenging. You want a friend who you share the same values a friend who can encourage you, congratulate you after accomplishing something, respects you and also a friend who does not take advantage of you.

By choosing the right friends you will avoid disappointments, stress or even depression.

You should look for a friend who has your best interest in their hearts. There can be such people who look like they care about your life but in reality they are just interested in getting something from you for their own selfish gain and they will do anything without caring about you, even if you are friendly to them.

Before you know how to choose your friends you need to "study everyone" know their weakness and strength, try to understand them. This will give you an understanding in choosing your friends and also becoming a leader.



A Spiritual Based Relationship Versus an Ego Based Relationship-Conquering Your Friendships

gtCan we monitor our thoughts and perceptions to live a happier and healthier life?

The answer is emphatically, yes. Since everything that we do and create is the result of a single thought, how can we ignore our daily thought patterns? We are our worse enemy when it comes to our mental and physical heath. The only thing in this life that we have total control over is our thoughts. Our thoughts create the life that we are living today and these thoughts were shaped and influenced by our parents and our environment. As an adult, we have total control over our thoughts and our reaction to our daily interactions. Whether the influence in shaping our thoughts were positive or negative, as an adult individual, we have the ability and the responsibility to monitor our thoughts and the words that come out of our mouth to make sure that everything that we say and do are compassionate and loving. We must guard our thoughts very carefully to avoid being mean and hateful in our thoughts and deeds. We need to avoid being a hypocrite

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Why It Is Important to Have Friends Who Aren’t Exactly Like You

cbAn English poet said "A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow." William Shakespeare has never been more precise in defining true friendship. Our friends have a special kind of love for us that they and only them can impart regardless of who and what we are.

But, why do only seek friendship from those who are like us? Is it because we are afraid to be judged and be left out? Let me share reasons why we should be friendly to people who are not us and live the valuable teachings of Shakespeare.

  • There is so much to learn from them

What is meant by "friends not exactly like you" is that they are way different from with regard to personality, beliefs, values system, interests and even preferences. These kinds of people will not only offer you companionship, but endless knowledge about important things you are less likely to encounter if not for them. Yes, it is a challenge to get to know them since they don't


Have You Been Searching for a BFF

wsHave you been trying to find someone with whom you can be vulnerable? A girlfriend or a bestie who is open to hearing what is truly happening in your life and the emotions that you're experiencing? So many of us struggle to find a great friend, someone who won't judge or criticize us for what we're thinking, feeling, or doing. After all, you can't exactly take out a personal ad or go on for a BFF!

We all need someone who is both emotionally and physically available with whom we can share. And while men may also be longing for these deeper connections, women are more often the ones who express this need. Many of us are searching for a girlfriend (even if she is married or in a committed relationship) who is open to spending time together, and not only couples time together. Someone who won't ditch us when she enters a new relationship, who deeply values the girlfriend relationship, someone in whom we can confide and be ourselves.

As we grow older it may seem more difficult to find this sort of connection

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