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Friday, April 27, 2012

Long-Term Dialogue

"Fine friendship requires duration rather than fitful intensity." —Aristotle

Once we have embarked upon this program, we find spiritual recovery through relationships more than any other single factor. We find it through relationships with other people, with ourselves, and with our Higher Power. But most men in recovery need to learn how to be in a relationship. We have to give up ideas that a friendship is an intense connection or a conflict-free blending of like minds.

A meaningful friendship is a long-term dialogue. If there is conflict or if we make a mistake or fail to do what our friend wants of us, we don't end the friendship. We simply have the next exchange to resolve the differences. Our dialogue continues over time, and time - along with many amends - builds the bond. With it develops a deepening sense of reliability and trusting one another. When we have lived with our friend through many experiences - or with our Higher Power - we gain a feeling that we really know him or her in a way we could never have in a brief intense connection.

Today, I will do what I need to do to be reliable in my friendships.

I'll tell ya right now... I've never been the best friend to anyone. I was always too selfish and worried about what my friends could do for me. I've had some really good friends, though. My brother and I were just reminiscing tonight about our old adventures in Auburn. I kid ya not... Some of the stuff we texted back and forth about, you couldn't possibly make up. Anyway, that got me thinking about some of the folks we hung out with coming up and some of my old school friends. Most were really good people who enjoyed hanging out and running the backwoods of Alabama. Folks who really enjoyed my company... at least until they got tired of my ego. Alot of us still keep in touch through FB, which I'm very grateful for. A few I haven't heard from in decades.

I like the part of the Touchstones passage that says, "A meaningful friendship is a long-term dialogue."

There are people that I've known since childhood who, no matter how bratty or crappy I've acted in the past, still talk to me today, and I think that is one of the coolest gifts an undeserving person could get!


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