Turning Life's Lemons Into Lemonade: Part Of The Recipe - Find A Friend, Be A Friend!
Recently we have been discussing ‘TOXIC THINKING’ and its harmful effects on our bodies, and perhaps you, like me, have noticed some toxic thoughts of your own. Having recognised these thinking patterns we want to stop the cycle, but what can be done? Is there help for these destructive thoughts?
We are alive and we will all experience pain; physical, psychological or emotional. Sometimes things are done to us that hurt, and sometimes we cause hurt to ourselves and others. This is a fact of life.
As Jesus said, “In this world we will have all kinds of troubles, challenges and difficulties”, but how can we stop life events from destroying our future? Our decision can change our future. No matter what we are facing, our choice is critical. Will we choose the path of healing which leads toward life or will we choose to let the pain engulf us?
Ultimately the choice is ours and ours alone. The best friend or remedy in the world cannot help us if we do not choose to accept the help and follow the path towards healing.
That said, one wonderful way to offset toxic thinking is to talk through our life issues with a friend. It is amazing what a good conversation with a caring, understanding and insightful friend can achieve. It is a wonderful therapy and can stop many potentially toxic thoughts from gaining a firm hold in our hearts and minds.
Can we confide in just anyone or are their traits that we should look out for when choosing a confidante? I am glad you asked! There are most definitely traits we should look out for. For instance, confidentiality is imperative so only talk to someone who you are absolutely certain will not betray a confidence.
Then of course, it is really difficult to talk to someone who is distracted and so engaged in their own world that they are only half listening to what you have to say. Find someone who will stop what they are doing, settle down and give you their full and undivided attention. A person who can really look at you and see your value, a significant person who cares for your best interests are signs that this is a person with whom you can share an issue or a negative thought.
However, always remember that the best advice is just that, advice; it is always up to you to choose whether the advice offered will work for you in your situation.
A good listener shows empathy and understanding and often refers back to what you are saying just to make sure that they have understood. They may offer advice but they do not dictate that you should follow their own solutions to your problem.
Yes, it is great to talk to an understanding friend. What a help it can be to share a disturbing thought, a life situation or discuss an upcoming decision with someone who really listens to you and gives sound advice. Wouldn’t it be great to find someone like that? Come to think of it, wouldn’t it be great to be someone like that? Are you and I the kind of person someone could confide in? If not, would you like to be a better listener, friend or offer better advice? Take heart because these skills can be learned.
Good friends can be hard to find and there is such a great need for counsellors in a world where many live far away from family and caring communities. It is well worth taking time to invest in learning the skills that will make you a better listener and a more caring friend.
The Sanctuary Soul Care Centre has just run a Basic Counselling Course, which has provided these very life skills to a wonderful group of people from all walks of life, who just want to be more effective in their interpersonal relationships. To find out more about how these skills have impacted their lives do take a look at our YouTube interview and remember:
HAVING A FRIEND AND BEING A FRIEND IS A FIRST STEP TO TURNING LIFE’S LEMONS INTO LEMONADE!
The Sanctuary Team