100 Days of Wisdom: Wisdom Day 31 — The Wisdom and Blessing of Honest Friendship

Wisdom Day 31

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“Having an honest friend — one before whom you can dump all your heart’s pockets and still feel that you are worth something — is a form of wealth that will buy you nothing but will give you everything. And mysteriously and rightly, to find such a friend, we must be such a friend.” ~ Mark Nepo ~


As I read the passage above in Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening I immediately thought of a “Nanaism” that my Nana used to say:

“Tonnie Bit [that’s what she called me], to have a friend you must be a friend.”

Nana was one of the wisest people I’ve ever known and she remains one of the wisest souls. She walked her talk by having an amazing community of friends around her throughout her 103-year life on this earth, even until the last days of her life this year. Her friendship circle evolved throughout her life. As life long friends passed away, she remained a truly honest and loving friend and continued to attract into her experience honest, supportive, loving friendships.

She was a really good judge of character and quickly gravitated away from “fake people”. In fact, she always said she liked “real people”. I suspect that phrase captures what Mark Nepo describes as an honest friend, one with whom you can trust the most tender, vulnerable parts of yourself and still feel whole, valued and valuable after the experience. Someone who shows up when you need support, listens when you need to be heard, advises when you need another perspective, or holds the space and you in silence when you just need to break out into “the ugly cry”, as Oprah would say.

As I reflect on my life-long circle of honest friends I feel so blessed. The faces in the circle have changed and evolved over time just as I have evolved. As with all relationships sometimes you grow together, sometimes you grow apart.  But the core of honest friendship remains unshaken and unchanged; God always provides what and, more importantly, who I need precisely at the right time. For that I am so very grateful.

Honest friendship has been especially important for me as an only child. It’s so easy for me to withdraw into myself because I grew up as my own “best friend” often content to play “nicely and quietly” by myself. But I am now wise enough to know I need people in life with whom I can make and maintain honest, life-affirming connections. The rough edges of life are too brutal and the sweet spots too magnificent to go it alone.

We were not created to exist in isolation. It’s important to be able to spend time by one’s self, to be sure. But we were created as unique beings with special gifts and a unique divine purpose fulfilled most authentically through the exchange of Love.

That loving exchange occurs when we connect honestly and authentically, when we relate with others, when we show up to meet each others needs and allow others to meet our needs. This requires vulnerability and a willingness to remain open even when others disappoint us. But honest friendship is built on our willingness to first be a good friend. With an intention of honest friendship we attract the very thing we put out into the Universe.

Honest friendships may not come in the form, or from the people, I expect. But I trust that they will come. And so it is.

Be well … and WISE!

Tonya Marie


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Wisdom in the Whisper™ and WisdomintheWhisper.com by Tonya Marie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at www.wisdominthewhisper.com.

4 thoughts on “100 Days of Wisdom: Wisdom Day 31 — The Wisdom and Blessing of Honest Friendship

    • Thank you so much, Ron. You know firsthand Nana was a great model of family and friendship! A lot to learn and model from her example. I see a book of nana wisdom coming soon!! 🙂

      Love & Light, Tonya

  1. This is exactly what I needed at this exact moment. It brought tears to my eyes and thought to my soul. I wish I was a better friend so I could have people like you still in my life. One day…I’m a work in progress. Muah!

    • Sending lots of love and light to ya Kalimah! We are all works in progress in need of a little grace early and often. Do what you can when you can. And by all means keep shining! Love you, Tonya

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