One of the many things that I have learnt as an expat is that friendships are priceless. You don't know how much they are worth until you lose a few and realise how hard it is to form new lasting friendships. Friendships are personal and thus more difficult to build. Most people cannot even remember when they last made a new close friend which they would want to keep forever. As expats we need to start this process all over again.
A strange thing that I have also noticed is that often people don't easily reach out to you, because they fear rejection or they don't even like themselves and these stop them from making new friends. I have found so many lonely people. Wonderful people, who just don't believe that they can be a good friend or that they have anything to offer and thus they don't try. Their walls are so high that no one is granted access.
I find it so extremely heart wrenching that lies from their pasts keep them from enjoying the wonderful benefits of friendship.
Friendships are not about what you have to offer or about what you have in common. It is about commitment, about supporting each other through whatever might pop up, unconditionally and selflessly. Often it's nothing more than properly listening and responding in love. Listening is probably the most neglected aspect in friendships today. As friendships grow they reach different stages of trust and yes during each stage you have to choose to share more and make yourself more vulnerable. There is always a risk involved, the risk that you might be hurt or disappointed, but where there is no risk, there is no reward. We need to learn to risk whatever it is we fear, to reap the rewards of friendship.
Picture credit: grace2f.org