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“Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.” 
… It is when two such persons discover one another, when, whether with immense difficulties and semi-articulate fumblings or with what would seem to us amazing and elliptical speed, they share their vision – it is then that Friendship is born. And instantly they stand together in an immense solitude.” 
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

We have been taught some hard lessons, after coming here to live in France; but after all isn’t that why you go an adventure, to learn?

Over the past month I have been taught the lesson of integrity. I have written before about empathy and kindness and conscientiousness  but for me I have never thought that you could have too much integrity; after all isn’t it true that if everyone had integrity most of the ‘ills’ in the world would go?

Can you have too much Kindness, Empathy, or Conscientiousness?

But, sadly,  I have come to realise that I have too much integrity, and that I need to start to put myself first with some people, and listen to my gut when it tells me to. Despite  that this lesson contributes to  my blessing today: Friendship – real friendship that I have only come to realise I have because of the lesson I have been taught about integrity! Life moves in mysterious ways doesn’t it?

So my small blesssing of friendship, whether it be with friends that you have made along the way in life, or friends from within your family, is about the people who want nothing from you but  support when they need it, and who offer you support all the way.

I have good friends, not least of them my husband; and I have good friends who have stayed with us on this adventure and supported us in every way. Over this last year we have also become part of a group of like-minded people who just want to help each other; none of the normal back stabbing that goes on; but have simply been there for us, offering work, finding Rich work, and inviting us into their fold; just listening when you needed them to. That is a blessing, and this year seems to be the year when we have finally found like-minded real people with no agenda. It has been a hard slog to get here; but to quote T.S Elliott we have found people where this has happened when we have talked to them:

“What? You too? I thought I was the only one.” 

To see my husband come home from work every day and giggle about his day has been a blessing; and it is these people who have enabled that. Here they all are at their Christmas ‘do’ and you can see the camaraderie from the picture.

 We have been to countless gatherings over this season, gatherings where people would ‘give you the top brick off the chimney’, and we have been blessed for that. Perhaps that has been the gift of the season: For us to meet people like this; because we made two new friends on Saturday that serendipity had stepped in and sent our way. I truly felt that moment of ‘what you too?’ with them.

There have also been my cyber community of friends, those who share each other’s posts because they think they are so good others should read them; those who send small words of comfort, even though I have never actually met them – I know that to have you in my life I am blessed.

Then let us not forget the old friends, some who have come back on the scene only recently who need me now as they were there for me, and I will be there.

Our French friends who have embraced us inti their lives, words cannot begin to describe their kindness.

Then there are the ones with whom we had great fun this summer, and laughed every day, nearly all day.

But this is my final friendship blessing:-My Sister, who I have come to realise (finally) truly only wants the best for me; and tries so hard to keep to the promise she made. I know that now, and I will never forget that again.

We can’t let the past dictate our present and future, we have to see what we have now, because that is the only moment.

So this is my blessing lets raise a toast on this New Years Eve to real friends, new and old.

Moisy

It’s New Year folks a time for reflection, please share this thread and let’s get everyone counting their blessings.

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