Visit Fridays Inspiration Online - Click Here!
Friday's Inspiration Weekly
Before the Mirror
Where would I be without friends, holding up the mirror reflecting my strengths and weaknesses, so that I might try to see myself from their eyes?

Menu: This week's tasty bits. Click an item to view!

      Back to top

It is more important to know the qualities and temperaments of people than those of stones and herbs. This is one of the subtlest things in life. Metals are identified by their sounds, and people by their speech. Words demonstrate integrity, and deeds even more so. Here is where one needs extraordinary care, profound observation, and critical power.
Friendship with the upright, friendship with the sincere, and friendship with the man of much information - these are advantageous. Friendship with a man of specious airs, friendship with the insinuatingly soft, friendship with the glib-tongued - these are injurious.
Three men are my friends - he that loves me, he that hates me, he that is indifferent to me. Who loves me, teaches me tenderness; who hates me, teaches me caution;  who is indifferent to me, teaches me self-reliance.

Entrée:  Old Friendship by Eunice Tietjens
      Back to top

Beautiful and rich is an old friendship,
Grateful to the touch as ancient ivory,
Smooth as aged wine, or sheen of tapestry
Where light has lingered, intimate and long.

Full of tears and warm is an old friendship
That asks no longer deeds of gallantry,
Or any deed at all - save that the friend shall be
Alive and breathing somewhere, like a song.

About the author:

Reprinted from Leaves in Windy Weather by Eunice Tietjens, © 1926, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

Main Course: To My Close Friends
Back to top

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.

I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart, and passing over all the foolish and frivolous and weak things which you cannot help dimly seeing there, and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful, radiant belongings, that no one else had looked quite far enough to find.

I love you for ignoring the possibilities of the fool and weakling in me, and for laying firm hold on the possibilities of the good in me. I love you for closing your eyes to the discords in me, and for adding to the music in me by worshipful listening.

I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.

Just by being yourself. This is why you are my close friend: It is the power of your love, reflected in me.

Michael Rawls, Friday's Inspiration © 2004

Second Helping: Gold for Your Relationships by Claire Hatch
      Back to top

What's the fastest way to improve all of your relationships? Learn to listen. Really listen.

The value of listening is often overlooked. Why? Because it sounds so easy. How hard can it be? If I'm not talking, then I'm listening, right?

This is far from true. Listening is easy to describe but difficult to do. Listening takes deep concentration. It requires a commitment to staying with the other person no matter where her story takes you. It requires staying open to her, no matter how her story makes you feel.

Imagine your close friend is telling you about a project that went awry at work. What does she need from you? She needs your complete attention. She needs you to understand and to let her know that you understand. That seems like a pretty short list of responsibilities. All right, now let's imagine that you're sitting across from her at the kitchen table, listening. Soon a thought flits across your mind about something you forgot to do at work. "I need to take care of that as soon as I get in." Oops, you've missed a couple of sentences. Back to listening. Next, you start to feel restless because all sorts of ideas pour into your mind. Your friend's story reminds you of something that happened to you not long ago. The outcome was hilarious and you know she'd appreciate the joke. But not now, because she's got her own problem to solve.

You just missed a crucial transition and now you're a little lost. Better concentrate a little harder. This takes effort! Your mind has a life of its own and it wants to go with the flow. It takes discipline to go with someone else's flow and do absolutely nothing else.

Now your friend talks about how her boss always leaves things to the last minute. You suddenly feel sensitive. That's a tendency of your own. You find yourself sympathizing with her boss. You wonder if your friend gets irritated with you in the same way she does with her boss. You start defending yourself in your mind—and miss more of what your friend is saying.

Now your friend comes to the really painful part. How her boss blamed her for the problems in front of the whole team. It's hard to stay open to this, because you don't want her to be in pain. Your overly obliging mind starts generating quick and easy solutions, to get her out of her misery fast. You're tempted to tell her it's not so bad, that you know things will work out, that in the grand scheme of things it's not that important.

But you know what her reaction will be if you say any of those things. Frustration. Irritation. "You just don't understand!"

And understanding is what she needs most of all.

Strange, isn't it? You feel like you do understand. That's why you want to take away her distress. But all the brilliant solutions in the world will not make her feel like you understand. The only thing that will do that is listening. Not jumping in with your own stories, not worrying about your own problems, and not offering solutions. Listening and absolutely nothing else.

Listening. Easy to describe. Hard to do. Pure gold for your relationships.

About the author:

Claire Hatch, LICSW, is a counselor who specializes in happier relationships and turning conflict into closeness. She works with clients in her Seattle area office and by phone around the world. She gives presentations on conflict solutions and making your relationship the best it can be. For more information, visit Contact Claire at 425 823-2273 or

Soup to Nuts: From the feedback button
      Back to top

Prerna wrote, "I absolutely LOVE your website and have recommended it to SO many others - it truly is an inspiration!  The perfect website name for exactly what it is! Thank you for your efforts on all those lovely articles and so much more. Keep up the GREAT stuff - there are loads of us out there who log on to it EVERYDAY." I blush.
  • Please continue to pray for Lori H, that her heart will be comforted during a difficult separation and divorce, and that she will have the means to support herself.
  • Healing energy for Bob Woodyard with multiple myeloma, Shivan and Lindsea Friesen with heart transplants, Gina with OCD in South Africa, JoanS for surviving breast cancer in Ontario, and for those who suffer with chronic pain. It's always something.
  • Prayers and gratitude for my friend AnnN, celebrating 5 years of survival while twice being diagnosed with breast cancer - for cutting off 14" of her hair to donate to "Locks of Love" (an organization that makes wigs for children with cancer) , and for her continued participation in life and the cause of cancer victims by doing her turns walking around the field on May 21st at the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Kent, WA. Rock on, girl!
  • Maralyn1 offers "Prayers for all those asking, and my love and peace to all.  Blessings and so much gratitude for all you give to so many." May they return to you four-fold, dear one.
  • Our prayers are continually offered for the safety of those individuals who, in the service of their country, stand in harm's way to protect our freedom. May the cannon someday be forever silent.
  • If you would like to express your concerns for loved ones, or yourself, in the form of prayer requests, send them to so we can help share the burden. Good news is welcome too! Write to and let's celebrate together!

    Happy Memorial day to all - happy birthdays and anniversary to my mom and dad, both crossed over. I love and miss you!

    Click to send your FEEDBACK to me right now!

    Just Desserts: Also Highly Recommended
          Back to top

    There have been more than 400 NEW AND UNIQUE visitors to the website during the last month - Thank you for your continued support! Over 500 of our partners on the Internet have graciously recommended visitors to Friday's Inspiration. Please take time to visit the "Highly Recommended" links below.

    N-Spire yourself!® with a no-frills daily email, containing a simple quote from Friday's Inspiration, each Monday thru Friday. Just click the InboxInspirations link to subscribe, or click on the feedback button above, and ask for a one-time email sample. InboxInspirations is part of YahooGroups!

    Create Happiness through Holistic Harmony - Author and lecturer Robert Elias Najemy provides articles, E-books and his excellent ezine "Clarity" that will empower you to clarify your life issues, emotions, needs, goals and relationships for greater health, happiness and harmony. Visit or sign up for his newsletter by sending an email to

    Massage Your Mind!: Defining Your Life Philosophy, has inspired thinkers in over 80 countries around the world. Maya Talisman Frost's free weekly e-zine, Friday Mind Massage, serves up a satisfying blend of clarity, comfort and comic relief. To subscribe, visit

    Check, Please!: Brought to you by F.I.'s *Shameless Commerce* Division:
          Back to top

    Everyone can make a difference. In the United States over 500,000 children are in foster care because they cannot safely live with their families. Nearly 70,000 National CASA volunteers serve approximately 280,000 of those abused or neglected children every year. Please join the National CASA Association in their mission to make sure every child in need has a voice. A child should have a childhood and a safe, permanent home. 100% of the proceeds from the sales of products and services advertised here will benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children - CASA.

    Our Own V-Store: Check It Out!!! Purchase products and services from FI's new *Shameless Commerce* online store, and help us help CASA! Nutritionals, environmentally safe household products for you and your pet, MCI Neighborhood telephone services, magazine subscriptions of every kind, and so much more! Visit the V-Store today!

    Personal Creations - Grads 'n Dads Gifts Sale - For fast, easy and personalized gifts for Father's Day and Graduation, or any occasion, visit Personal Creations today! Prefer to shop by phone? Call 1.800.326.6626 (click online, or mention code 3879EM for $10 off orders of $50 or more!).

    Does your computer have worms? A good rule of thumb is to never open any attachment file that has an SCR or PIF file type!! Recent virus-laden emails have clogged my inbox, but I know it's no problem. Protect your computer from malicious code through your purchase of McAfee's VirusScan software. Please visit the McAfee Security Center to do so!

    Party's over, go home - The rest of the stuff:       Back to top

    Your suggestions for inspirational topics and inspiring authors are welcome. Guest Authors are encouraged to submit their article to - Article length should be limited to 600 words in any format, and should be on an appropriate subject for our subscribers. Please include a short biography and picture. Absolutely no business or marketing related articles will be accepted.

    Friday's Inspiration continues to be visited by inspiration seekers from around the world! Help spread the word about this one-of-a-kind website. You are welcome to invite your friends to join us by recommending this site. They may subscribe by sending a blank email to

    We are committed to protecting your privacy, so your email address will NEVER be sold or exchanged. If you would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter, please send a blank email to or visit

    Online issues of this newsletter can be found at

    Peace and Light,

    Sign My Guestbook Get your own FREE Guestbook from htmlGEAR View My Guestbook