Photo taken by (Luca Galuzzi) *

I don’t know one person who hasn’t experienced a desert time in their life. It must happen even to the most successful of people. No one has a perfect life. We’re all a little damaged, worn down by the heaviness of the world.

Everyone copes differently in these times.  I usually panic and get really moody. My poor family knows when I’m not loving life. My brows stick together and my sigh count increases. Everything seems harder, more of an effort; like wading through mud. You know your skin is loving it but it’s still stinking, gooey and gets EVERYWHERE!

In times like these you find out who your true friends are. For some people it is easier to walk away and stick their head in the sand, willing your sadness to be over and done with already. These are the fair-weather friends and you know to stay well clear of them when you’re feeling a bit blue. They are great entertainment for parties and celebrations but cannot handle honesty and the rawness that comes with real life.

I’m happy to say that most of my friends come in the ‘true friend’ category. You can let it all hang out with these people, you can rant and rave, cry and curse and they’ll stick by you. The true friend doesn’t just pat you on the back and say “there, there,” they are honest even if it’s difficult to hear. But they’ll say it in a gentle, loving way that doesn’t devastate you further. I am in awe of these people. They embody loyalty, commitment and acceptance. Very humbling indeed.

Friendship works best when there’s mutual support and mutual respect. It’s a two way thing and I think so many people get burned when they try to help others who take advantage of their generosity. They drain them, use them, then blame them for all the troubles in their life. This is not true friendship… obviously. We’re all a little broken, all a little needy but giving is truly more important than taking or draining.

These people have taught me how to stand by your friend no matter what. It feels like a rare thing in this day and age (oooo sounding old here). But our culture has so embraced individualism that we have forgotten loyalty and community. Sweet community. Ah.

Is friendship alive and thriving?