What to do when you and your friends don’t jive
This morning I woke up at my friend’s lovely cottage. They were kind enough to invite me to spend the weekend with them in the mountains of north-eastern Czech Republic. My visit prompted me to reflect upon my friendships, and how wonderful it has been to see them become easier over the years.
I love the saying that we are the sum of the five friends we hang out with the most, which also explains why some friends come and go, while others stay in our lives for a lifetime.
If you have taken some of my free courses you already know how much I love using metaphors. I compare the spine to a garden’s watering system, in order to explain the effects of spinal health on digestion and diarrhea in dogs.
I view toxins in the body as rowdy little air travellers stealing seats away from the “good passengers” - the essential nutrients and minerals.
To help eliminate toxins from my dog Pax's body, I give him a semi-annual course of LiverTune, a certified organic herbal detox. LiverTune is fermented during the production process to increase the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cytoprotective, immunoprotective and anti-cancer effects. Here is a link to a study on this topic.
One of the most potent ingredients in LiverTune is ashwagandha, an adaptogen and liver supporting herb that has been known to increase resistance to stress, boost immunity, and also help dogs to be calm and content. LiverTune also contains milk thistle, which is great for dogs with liver disease, and it helps prevent liver disease in healthy dogs, as elevated liver enzymes are one of the most common health problems in dogs today.
Back to friendships
Speaking of metaphors, friendships and a detox should also go hand in hand, because relationships need to be detoxed once in a while too.
Our group of friends can be likened to musicians in a band. They each play a different instrument, produce different sounds and celebrate their individual nature, and when they are together they create a beautiful harmony of sound and movement.
However, especially in our early years of life, we often do not understand this and desire to be friends with those, who on deeper level, we do not jive with at all.
As we grow, some of us are fortunate enough to learn that a lack of ease around certain people, the feeling that there is nothing to talk about, is a gift, a signal from the Universe that we do not need to be friends with everyone - and dogs are the same way.
This realization usually leads to a “reshuffling” and allowing some friendships to dissolve, which opens up space for new connections as well as reaching out to good old friends we love, but lost touch with.
So what are the 10 characteristics of friendships that jive?
- Good friends can be trusted.
- They are reliable and keep their word.
- There is a mutual desire to hang-out and spend time together.
- There is an ease to being together.
- Differences are not considered to be disagreements.
- Disagreements are easily sorted out.
- There is no drama.
- We can talk for hours without feeling exhausted.
- There is empathy and consideration for one another.
- There is a balance between giving and receiving
What about the differences?
When we don’t see our good friends for a while, it is natural that their lives and experiences shape their opinions and world view differently, but no need to be alarmed. In fact, the differences are a great foundation for inspiring, thought provoking conversations.
Here is one example of how my good friend and I differ now, despite the fact that we went to the same veterinary school:
The other day, he joined Pax and I for a walk in a beautiful flowery meadow near his cottage. We really loved it, except there were so many ticks!
Before we left for the walk, I applied TickHex on Pax, but I somehow forgot to spray his tummy and found a tick attached when we came back.
I removed it, and then my friend suggested that I put Betadine on the wound, which is commonly used in conventional practice. I thanked him and instead used my own herbal Skin Spray that I brought along.
What I loved about the situation was that neither of us needed to explain ourselves, we just respected our ways, and then later, had a good conversation about the difference between toxic Betadine and natural Skin Spray. If you would like to read about how to treat wounds without toxic solutions and antibiotics, click here.
We also had a good conversation about ear problems in dogs, during which I learned that my friend does ear resection surgery in dogs because their ear problems are impossible to manage. To some, this could seem to be an insurmountable divide in how we manage chronic ear infections in dogs, but our friendship is stronger than our difference in opinion, and I know that eventually I will be able to share how I managed to have a very low rate of ear problems in my practice.
Ideal friendships should be easy and drama free, and any potential arguments should transform into healthy and enjoyable conversations. Our friends don't need to always agree with us in order to be our friends.
When a friendship hits stormy seas and becomes difficult, perhaps it is signal that we need to press the ‘pause’ or ‘stop’ button to see what happens.
Just today I received a message from a friend, whom I had previously pressed the pause button with. I haven’t been in touch with him for some time, because he gave me a lecture about Pax being off-leash in the mountains when we hiked together.
Today, I was pleasantly surprised to have received the following text: "Peter, I have been thinking about our disagreement, and you defending the right for dogs to be able to run free, and I have changed my opinion. I can see your point now." I was grateful to hear from him.
Sometimes reconnecting at a different time and place helps.
Wishing you the best on your journey of finding the most awesome, fantastic, wonderful friendships under the sun. I am sure you have at least one in your life, the one with your canine friend! ❤️🐶