Monday, November 13, 2006

The Conditions of Unconditional

The Conditions of Unconditional

The last week of my life has been spent with great friends One of our tight knit group prepared to walk down the aisle and into a new chapter of his life. For me, already married with children, it was a time to roll back the clock and spend as much time as I could just ‘being’ with my friends.

As the only one of the ‘crew’ that was married inevitably I was asked the many strange questions that coincide with the nerve racking episode about to take place. I didn’t really have the answers any more than the next guy but I relished the role as much as I could. Our friend knew things were about to change and yet for the four of us, especially me since it had been tougher and tougher to drop by for some casual time, it was like nothing could or would ever change. It was reaffirming to remind myself that friendships don’t need to change if the bonds are strong enough to withstand the many twists and turns of life. This week reminded me that true friendships are unconditional and will continue to grow if treated with respect.

I believe that many people have expectations that they impose on the world and those expectations generally have a dramatic effect on their relationships. How much money does that guy make? Is that person stable? What religion is she aligned with? The list of preconceived expectations is numerous. It seems upon further inspection that most expectations are heaped upon others because of our own personal baggage. The media tells of the beauty of money, stability is considered better than someone who takes a chance and religious beliefs belie the true humanity of a person. For a business owner, a coach, a teacher or a manger [to name just a few] the world becomes about managing expectations because far too often we feel let down by someone who doesn’t live up to their own hype or what we wanted them to be. For many of us we take those expectations and then without thinking begin to allow them to impose on our friendships.

At school you weren’t friends with someone who had the most money, drove a great car or had the biggest shovel at the sandbox. For most of us we just found the personality that we most enjoyed and we sought those that upon first inspection and initial gut reaction where the most true to their character. Expectation has slowly ruined the bonds of marriage and although it is without media fanfare or hype there is a slow unraveling of true friendships as people use each other to move their lives forward rather than experience the road less traveled; which is to say embrace the experiences that one can have when they explore the world together, through different perspectives and different realities.

I am a blessed individual because I have true friends. People that take me as I am, challenge me to be who I can be and look to me to add my strengths to their lives. To have one real friend is an incredible feeling. To have a few that would take a bullet for me is more than anyone in the world could ask. I am truly grateful and humbled by this. These people live by an unwritten code. That code is the Conditions of Unconditional:

One free of judgment
One free of envy
One free of status
Honesty as a corner stone
Loyalty as a pillar of greatness
Integrity as the only true quality you can take to the grave
And as important as the rest; one free of expectations

Is there a place in your life where you are bringing expectations and your own baggage to a situation? Are there people that you know you are not true with and they in turn are not true with you?

To me being a great friend and having great friends is merely a mirror of what you have put out into the world. Find out who you are and let the world know that you live by a higher standard; a standard of acceptance.

Erase your old conditions and embrace the greater conditions of unconditional………

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