Sunday, September 22, 2013

Marble Jar Friends

I have been reading the book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. If you haven't heard of her, do yourself a favor and look up her work. It will change your life.

In this book, she references a very good lesson her young daughter learned about betrayal and how she related it to a classroom incentive her daughter's teacher implemented.

The teacher had a marble jar on her desk and as the class made collectively good decisions, she added marbles to the jar. If they were making poor choices, she removed marbles from the jar. When and if the marbles reached the top of the jar, the students were rewarded.

After an experience of betrayal, the author related the marble jar activity to friends and had her daughter recite friends who, in life, added marbles to her jar while other friends might be the ones to take out the marbles.

After reading this anecdote , I stopped to think on my marble jar for a moment. In life, I've been really really blessed to have so many friends who fill my marble jar. The friends who keep your secrets, the friends who love and support without judgement, the friends who were there when things fell apart, the friends who helped put me back together.

Of course, I've had a few friends who have removed marbles from my jar. Either they were friends who took more than they gave or felt entitled to rewrite the stories I was living, or generally really great friends who stumbled, judged, acted selfishly or handled things poorly. But luckily, despite those people or those moments, my marble jar stays full, and every day I am rewarded with these generous and loving people in my life.

I hope to be a friend who adds marbles to the jars of people in my life. I hope that I return the favor of being someone who can be confided in and trusted to love without abandon. I aspire to be the friend who each of my friends can go to when they need a shoulder, a new perspective, or a stiff drink. And if there's a day when I act selfishly or handle something poorly, I hope my friends can tell me I'm taking marbles from their jar, allow me to apologize, and replace the marbles. I want to be a marble jar friend. Because if life has blessed me with so many and filled my jar so fully, the least I can do is give of my marbles freely and without expectation. After all, these marble jar friends, so many times, have been the ones to keep me from losing all of my marbles.

People who fill my marble jar:

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