Friends can be an extension or a substitute for the nuclear family. There is a great need in most of us to share life experiences with others. Not only do we learn more about others when we engage in friendship, but we can also learn more about ourselves.
Relationships are mirrors of ourselves. What we attract always mirrors either qualities we have or beliefs we have about relationships. The things we don’t like about our friends are either reflections of what we do or what we believe. We could not attract such people if the way they are didn’t somehow complement our own lives.
When the bond between friends becomes strained, we can look to the negative messages of childhood to understand why. For instance, if we have a friend who is undependable and lets us down, we need to turn within. We need to see where we are undependable and when we let others down. Then, we need to perform a mental housecleaning, removing the negative messages and learning to accept ourselves so that we can accept others.
It’s pointless to run around trying to heal all of our friends. We cannot force others to change. We can offer them a positive mental atmosphere where they have the possibility to change if they wish, but we cannot do it for or to other people. Each person is here to work out his or her own lessons, and if we fix it for them, then they will just go and do it again, because they have not worked out what they needed to do for themselves.
All we can do is love them and allow them to be who they are.