Monday, June 18, 2012

Life's Reality Checks

Sometimes it takes the smallest of things to remind us that life is a series of gives and takes.  If things get out of balance, relationships get strained and friendships can crumble.  However, true relationships are the ones where someone says something before it gets too late.

In an era where we are "trained" by society to share our lives with social media, we sometimes forget the art of listening to others.  We have good things to share, we are struggling with our newest challenge, or we simply have an update on our lives.  All of these things are worthy of communication.  Yet, we also need to remember to stop and listen to those who care.  What is going on in their lives?

When friendships date back for years, it is easy to fall into this trap.  I know I have.  My best bud lives in VA and works in the DC area.  For years, he has personified this strong individual with great advice and an understanding ear whenever I've needed him.  Whenever we were younger, we shared in the troubles we got into equally.  With all that's been going on within my own life recently, I forgot to take the time to return the gesture and really listen to what was happening in his life.

Being really great friends, this is easily remedied by returning to the roots of our friendship.  Taking the time to call when I have no news, but a genuine concern for how his life is going is all that is needed.  We've spent hours around bonfires discussing life and its many issues.  It's been too long since that has occurred, but that doesn't mean we can't still have those discussions.

The traps of life are so easy to fall into and our lives can become so consuming we become blinded to the events happening in the lives of those we care about.  Remember to hit pause on your own life from time to time and reach out to those who are there for you.  They may not reach out when they need you, after all, we are all different in how we communicate.  All it may take is a simple phone call to reconnect, but it requires an open ear and a shut mouth.  My friends have always been there for me and I would do anything for any of them.  Listening is perhaps the easiest and most forgotten "thing" we can do.  The effort is so worth it and it really takes nothing but a few minutes and dedication to those we care about.

Whom shall you call today with an open ear?

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