Tag Archives: friends

Can you handle the truth?

Who do you go to when you need advice?

This morning I was stopped by a police officer.  He said he clocked me doing 60 mph in a 40 mph zone.  He asked for my license and proof of insurance.  I had a huge pile of “what not” in my glove compartment.  As I hurriedly tried to rummage through the mess to find the insurance card, he seemed exasperated.  I finally found an insurance card but it was expired.  He gave me a ticket. 

This was not the way I wanted to start my day.  I was embarrassed and disappointed in myself. 

It would be easy to be mad at the police officer but he was just doing his job.  When I told other people the story, they said things like, “he didn’t have to be such a jerk” or “that’s ridiculous, you should fight it” or “there’s no way you were going that fast, that’s unfair”, etc.

It’s interesting, although I was embarrassed and disappointed, I didn’t blame him at all.  He wasn’t a jerk, I was going too fast and it was fair.  I deserved a ticket. 

I was completely unaware of my speed.  I was unconsciously driving the car and someone had to wake me up!

In fact, I’m thinking maybe he saved me from a future accident that might have happened if I wasn’t reminded to slow down.  Maybe he did me a favor.

We need more honesty in all areas of our lives.  Maybe someone telling us the truth about what we are doing (with our relationships, our choices, our behaviors) will help us.  Maybe we need our friends and relatives to stop us and wake us up! 

Have you ever had someone tell you something you didn’t want to hear?  Did you get mad at them?

Isn’t it interesting?  We can always find someone to back us up and agree with us.  We can always find someone who will listen to us complain or justify our anger.  We may even have friends we can go to that will join us in our bad behavior.  Some “friends” encourage us to make poor choices.

I think it’s more difficult to find someone who will speak the truth to us, someone who will do us the favor of being honest with us especially when what we are doing is “not all that great”.

I think this is why we often seek advice of professionals.  When we are really in need of some guidance, we go to a doctor or a therapist or a Pastor.   We rely on them to tell us the truth. 

Recently I heard a speaker tell preteen girls about the internet.  She said to always think of the 4 P’s.  She advised them to not post anything on the internet that you would not want the 4 P’s to see.  The 4 P’s are your parents, the police, the principal and your pastor. 

I think this is good advice for all of us for the internet and for life.  Don’t do anything that would not be approved by the 4 P’s.  The 4 P’s will tell us the truth. 

We know this.  This is why we don’t always go to the 4 P’s but go to our friends instead.  Sometimes it’s like  A Few Good Men…we “can’t handle the truth”. 

I feel good about how I handled the ticket and the police officer today.  I’m not always so accepting but today, I was able to “handle the truth”.  I need to slow down and pay attention.  I’m the only one who is to blame for the ticket.  I paid the fine and I’ll attend traffic school.  I’m not happy about it but I’ve accepted it.  Without the ticket, I would have still been driving unconsciously and who knows what would have happened.

Many of us are going through life in an unconscious haze.  Do we have people in our lives that are willing to speak the truth?  Do we need to wake up? 

Here’s a challenge:  Next time someone speaks the truth to you, notice how you feel.  Do you feel like complaining and blaming? Try to stop and think.  What behavior got you into this?  What behavior do you need to change?   

Instead of being mad at the truth teller, maybe you should thank them.  Really, they are just doing you a favor.

©2011 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved


I love boys…and men. 

I love their sense of wonder and their curiousity.  I love their sense of adventure. 

I have two older brothers and I think their way of looking at things affected my way of looking at things.  There isn’t a lot of room for drama with boys.  There isn’t a lot of soul searching and talking for hours about feelings.  Some women bemoan this.  I welcome it. 

I have enough going on in my own mind and heart to keep me busy for a lifetime with the soul searching.  Not to mention all my friends and our hours of talking through the details of life.  Sometimes I just want to laugh.  Or go tubing.  Or watch someone light off fireworks.  Or drink a beer.  Or ride in a boat.  Or fish.  Or just sit there.

I think a lot of women are always wondering “What is he thinking?” or “What is he worried about?”  The answer to both those questions is “Nothing”.  He’s just chillin’.  Maybe he’s thinking about what’s for dinner or where he can get more fireworks or if there’s enough beer in the fridge, but really, he’s happy just “being”. 

This is not to say men don’t have feelings or don’t worry.  Obviously, they do.  But when it’s time to relax and have fun, they know how to do it. 

And we could learn a lot from them about being a friend.  I’ve seen it with my son and my husband.  Whoever is in the vicinity, is a friend.  If you are near water or playing sports, everyone is included and encouraged.  There is no hidden agenda or passive aggressive power plays.  They make friends with total strangers because they are sitting by them at a game or in line with them for the diving board. 

If you are a guy and acting like a jerk, the other guys will tell you so to your face.  Maybe you’ll get punched or tackled or  teased but it’s out there and then it’s over.  You know where everyone stands. 

My son is 9 and sometimes I hear him and his friends yelling at each other while playing Wii or Xbox.  They are shouting and yelling and teasing.  When I ask if everything’s okay, they look at me like, “What are you talking about? We are having fun!”

As for loyalty and supportiveness, my husband is king.  If someone has wronged me or made me feel bad, he’s right on my side with the, “Who cares?  Seriously…I love you, you’re great, forget it.”  End of story.  We don’t need to talk for hours about it.  He’s got my back.

The other day I was pacing around the kitchen, not sure what to do with myself and I told my son I wasn’t sure what to do, there were so many things on the to-do list.  He said, “Mom, do what you want to do…it’s summer!” (Like, Duh…enjoy yourself!)

I love the way they just are what they are.  They’re comfortable in their own skin. They are not worrying about what they look like in their bathing suit or if their lunch has too many carbs.  They are eating their cheeseburger and fries and drinking a beer with their shirt off, laughing and ordering dessert.  It’s refreshing. 

Sometimes at parties, I like to head over to see what the boys are doing.  I like it there.  I don’t have to talk.  I can just chill and laugh.  No worries, I know they’ve got my back.

©2011 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

Carbonated holiness

Laughter is carbonated holiness.

                        -Anne Lamont

Great line, huh?

I’m sure you are like me and you have certain friends you that make you laugh.  When you think of them right now, you’re smiling, right? How great is that?  What gifts they have given you…laughter, happy memories, fun. 

What about the people who are good listeners?  How do you feel when you think of them?  Comforted and understood.  What gifts they have given you…attention, understanding, kindness.

What about the friends that take care of things for you? They bring a meal, lend a hand, say a prayer.  They take your kids for a day, they remember your birthday, they bring food to your parties.  You think of them and you feel taken care of.  You are nurtured.  What gifts they have given you…generosity, assistance, support.

What about the friends that go places with you?  They have fun ideas, they plan outings, they are willing to try a new restaurant, a new movie, a new vacation spot.  When you think of them, you feel excitement and anticipation.  What gifts they have given you…enthusiasm, companionship.

What about the friends that are lifelong friends?  When you think of them, you feel like they are family, your stories are intertwined, they have “been there” for you through all of life’s ups and downs.  What gifts they have given you…loyalty and history.

All of these friends have brought “holiness” into your life in one way or another.  What is holiness?  I believe it’s everything that makes up our lives.  There is no part of our life where God is absent so isn’t it all holy in some way? 

What kind of “holiness” are you sharing with your friends?

 Sometimes people get the mistaken notion that spirituality is a separate department of life, the penthouse of existence. But rightly understood, it is a vital awareness that pervades all realms of our being.

-Brother David Steindl-Rast