What are we without our girlfriends? Like Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King, Tyra Banks and Kimora Lee Simmons — nothing is more valuable than a friend that you can laugh and cry with, share all parts of your life with, and count on in time of need.

Good girlfriends are hard to find, in real live and on television. Every once in a while the sitcom gods bring together a magical set of ladies and we find ourselves laughing and crying with them and joining in on all of the perfectly timed side-eyes and mmm hmmms. Sure you could live without your girlfriends, but would you really want to? Who would you shop, workout, talk trash or watch reality TV with? Who would you tell your deepest, darkest secrets? Who would you cry to or celebrate with?  My girlfriends or ‘Sista-Friends’ [as I call them] are like my personal army and each soldier has had a vital roll to play in my life. Friends can be a source of strength or a source of stress, a source of motivation or a source of mess! I have been blessed with good friends who I love and who love me back; Friends that I laugh and cry with, friends that I am accountable to, friend that I can get advice from and give advice to. My sista-friends are the best!
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We’ve all known each other since elementary school or high school. Most of us grew up on the  same block and at the same church. We’ve been through hell and high water together. Boyfriends, babies, husbands, cancer, death of loved ones, college, university, divorces, fights, you name it we’ve been through it….always together! We believe in friendship. We couldn’t imagine growing old, not having any friends who knew us way back when. We have the feisty ones, the peacemakers, the complainers, the jokers, the serious ones, the friend who’s always late. We don’t judge each other; we accept each other’s faults and all.

I refuse to lose a GOOD friend because I don’t want to do the work and have the conversations that are hard to have. I’m willing to say the uncomfortable stuff and speak my truth, always in honesty and in love for the sake of the friendship. And I’m willing to receive my friends’ truth, even when it’s not what I want to hear. It’s an honour to have someone trust you with the issues of their life. Treat it with the same respect you’d want them to treat your private stuff with. Be an honourable friend but, first, be an honourable person. I’m definitely not saying that we’ve been perfect friends but our friends know we love them and that we value their friendship by the way we treat them, rather our times together are frequent or infrequent.

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Establish some reasonable friendship requirements such as: we must be able to tell each other the truth no matter what, we must be OK with each other’s personal decisions that don’t directly affect our friendship, we must have realistic expectations of each other because we have lives outside of our friendship, we must be able to celebrate and support each other no matter who’s doing well in life or who isn’t. Perhaps some boundaries need to be set as well, because sometimes friends can confuse themselves with being our parents, our financial or spiritual advisor, our schedule planners, or life coach. If you need something or someone to control, start your own business, buy a pet or have some kids, lol. Remember, being a friend does not mean you get to run someone’s life because you don’t want them running yours. If your core values are the same, work through the challenges and keep on laughing and crying and growing together.

Sometimes it takes just a moment to lose a friend but most often it takes years to gain a real one. So make sure you’re a good friend, a real friend, an honourable friend. Be there for them the way you’d like them to be there for you. Protect them the way you’d want them to protect. Stop trying to run their life because you don’t want them to try and run yours. Have some expectation but don’t be needy, we all want a friend, not a liability.

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Through thick and thin, your girls are always there to share some  laughs, to wipe your tears and to have your back when the going gets rough. No one can replace your best friends, but it’s nice when Hollywood gets the dynamic of your relationships right. I salute our favourite girlfriends in some of our favourite movies today.
So call up your ladies and rent one of these flicks this weekend and have a fabulous girls’ night in. The bottom line is, be the friend that you would want to have. Now can somebody give me an Amen!
Share your FAVOURITE SISTA-FRIEND TALE in the comments below!
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Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady ©