EVERYONE HAS A STORY.

But you already knew that…

And our stories often intertwine to create relationships some deep and others superficial, but you probably already knew that too…

But I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately…

How everyone has a story…

And it caused me to reflect on the first seven months of this year — the first 7 months of my story called 2017—and if my 2017 story had a title, it’d probably be called Relationships. With a subtitle about being better in them or something like that. Because it seems like I’ve been constantly challenged to extend love when I don’t want to, or to be considerate when I wish a little more consideration was extended to me or to just simply forgive…

And oftentimes when I’m tempted to judge someone else’s story by the way that theirs impacted mine, I have to remind myself that simply isn’t fair!

Because if I was being completely honest, their impact on my story is just a small part of their story.

And their story isn’t finished being told.

And I don’t always have the privilege of having read the previous chapters of their story- of having seen how others impacted it.

And who am I to judge anyway!?

Because if not today, then possibly tomorrow, I may negatively impact someone else’s story with an unkind word or short response or inconsiderate action… And if I don’t want to be defined by my less than perfect moments, then I probably shouldn’t define others by theirs…

So these first 7 months of 2017 have taught me this simple lesson:

It’s unfair to define someone else’s story simply by the way theirs impacted yours…because if we were being completely honest, there’s more to their story…

…and I do so hope that the rest of their story turns out to be AMAZING!”

Maybe I shouldn’t speak for you but…

Sometimes we’re not great friends.                                

But maybe that’s just me….and like I said maybe I shouldn’t speak for you… but sometimes I get that sinking feeling that seems to suggest that I wasn’t as kind as I could have been, or as considerate or even as fun (lbs). And sometimes I even forget to respond to text messages or choose alone time over hanging out…sometimes I don’t feel like I’m that great a friend.

But being a friend isn’t about a feeling or about being perfect- though our Instagram feeds may suggest otherwise. Being a friend is about being REAL! It’s about tears cried, apologies spoken, mistakes made, misunderstandings, and about deciding that in between all the laughs, inside jokes and perfect pictures posted the relationship is worth it.

So here are 3 ways I’ve found that have helped me to become a better friend:

1. Be Yourself.                                              

Because no one can be you! And before you’re tempted to try to be more like the girl w/ the perfect shoes or perfect outfit, just remember that you’re pretty awesome! And then take that awesomeness and share it w/ your friends!

2. Be Considerate.                                                

Our friends are often different than us. Some need more space, more help, or more encouragement…and that’s ok! Find out what your friend needs and then do that!

3. Be Loved.

This concept has literally rocked my world! In a world where being thirsty 💦 is frowned upon but love and acceptance is looked for knowing that you are already loved is amazing! And when you’re loved, you’re free to be considerate, free to be yourself, and you’re free to be a better friend!

So what are some ways that you found to be a better friend?! Comment below!