(For those of you who clicked the link, I've always loved that song!)
I've been thinking about it a lot lately ... the word "friend" what it means, how we use it, what role these characters play in our lives, and what they can do for us. I think my definition of the word is a little less traditional than others', and what my friend does for me is a little unorthodox, but I think we'd all be in a better place if our friends, and we as friends were a little less like the norm.
Firstly, I think "friend" is the most important label you can place on a person (you know, if you're into that kind of thing!). You can have your lover, your mother, sister, child, etc., but these people become so much more important, and integral in your growth, and life once they become your friend on top of what they already are to you. I say this, because all of the tags I just listed can become your biggest hindrance in life if they are committed to just blowing smoke, er, in your face. They can keep you from growing up, and reaching your true potential if all they do is remind you of how "fabulous" you think you are.
My friend is honest. My friend is not phony. My friend will never kiss me li'l bum. My friend will never tell me I'm perfect, because my friend knows better. My friend holds up my mirror, and makes me look at myself, and not just to primp and get my lip gloss on straight! My friend makes me look at my real self, and sometimes I don't like what I see, and sometimes we don't speak because of it! My friend challenges me (especially the part of me that sometimes hates admitting that!). My friend makes me stand on my own. My friend does not coddle me, and will be the first to let me know when I'm being a jackass. My friend never stands with me when I'm wrong. My friend gets under my skin, and twists, and turns until I can't stand anymore, and want to rip my outer layer off just to get the little bugger out! That's okay, I don't mind a good soul scrubbin' every now and again, but my friend will never do this for me. My friend hands me the scrub brush, and says "Git ta woiyk!" My friend never cracks the whip, it's my job to find where I need the discipline, and dish it out for myself. My friend makes me stronger, not by rallying the troops, or circling the wagons, or screaming the loudest on my behalf. My friend shoves me out on stage under the burning spotlight, because my friend knows I can do it. My friend believes in me, why else would my friend go to all this trouble?
The fact that my friend keeps doing this for me is what unconditional means to me. It does not mean I get to act any ol' way, and I will be accepted no matter what kind of pain, or nonsense I create for myself and others. One could look back to that paragraph and think, well there sure seems to be a lot of conditions in there! I don't see that. I see someone who has never given up on me, and that, I will tell you, is very rare.
It's good to know I've got a friend. I only hope I can be as good to my friend in return.