Being an intentional friend
Being an intentional friend. An interesting concept. It’s something I have been to many, but perhaps for short intervals of time. When I am mentoring or simply supporting someone going through divorce, I am very intentional. I stay in constant contact via email, phone, text, Facebook, or all of those ways.
So why am I not that way with my friends and family? Why do we let so much time go by with no contact?
Life is busy. Life is crazy. Life is chaotic. But that is true of everyone. Just because your life feels overwhelming, or on the brink of disaster, or out of control, does not mean everyone else’s is peachy keen. And what you may see or feel is borderline life-ending or destroying may simply be a bump in the road to someone else. And visa versa, what you think is a bump in the road of life could be or feel to someone else like the end-all.
My point is that no matter what is going on in our own lives, we still need to reach out to others. You may never know that you were that one contact that saved that person.
Someone very dear to me shared with me recently that he is being an “intentional friend.” He explained that every couple of weeks or once a month, he sends a text to some buddies of his. Nothing long, drawn-out, or in-depth. A simple thinking-of-you text, something-reminded-me-of-you text, hope-all-is-well text. He said he tries to make them no response needed messages. He said most of the time he gets no response, and that is okay. The point is that the receiving person knows they are being thought about, knows that someone cares.
This, of course, got me thinking of how I am so not that friend.
Recently, on another occasion, I spent time with another friend who got a new tattoo, ; IGY6,
a special meaning for him and many others of our military forces. Here is how he explained it:
“It's for the awareness of the 22 Active Duty and Veterans who commit suicide each day in America. ; IGY6. ; is for PTSD.
IGY6: I Got Your Six. When moving in a patrol, 12 o’clock is alway to your front, so your 6 o'clock is your rear or back. I got your back, or 6. Many veterans who deployed into hostile action suffer from PTSD. Normal sounds during the day can "trigger" this, loud sounds like a car backfiring. So can having someone walk up behind us or even having a loved one wake us up suddenly and not knowing as we’re asleep. This tattoo will not save anyone's life, per se, but I've had a couple of my brothers see it and reach out to me and they know I'm here for them.”
Pretty powerful. Once again gets me thinking of how I am so not that friend.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe I am a horrible friend, quite the opposite actually. I am a pretty good friend. I would do just about anything for any of my friends at any time. But I think I fail when it comes to being an intentional friend.
So if you are my friend, I apologize.
I love what these two men in my life are doing to be intentional! And they have inspired me to do the same. So if you get a random text, or call, or message from me, KNOW that you are loved. No response needed.