Friends Versus Acquaintances

What is the difference between a true friend and an acquaintance? Let's look to the dictionary:
Typical Dictionary Definition of "friend" 1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.
3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.
4. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement: friends of the clean air movement.
Typical Dictionary Definition of "acquaintance"1. Knowledge of a person acquired by a relationship less intimate than friendship.
2. A person whom one knows.
I was in my AA Meeting today and this was the topic (friends versus acquaintances) that I lead with. It was a great topic because I have been really thinking about my "Social Network". I got some really good input from other people on the subject. I have been a student of Social Networking for a couple years now because I feel that it is the future of business and that it has untapped potential for me as an artist.  It is however VERY hard for me.  I think partly because I am a bit anti social because of the fact that I had multiple hip surgeries when I was younger between the ages of 13 and 21 years old (13 surgeries). I was in bed for like 6 months at a time straight and had little interaction with people during that important time in my life when you normally are learning how to make friends.  Being an addict and having my bottle of pain pills and 1800 tequila by the bed I was in my "happy place" most of the time. From 21 to 24 I played pool for a living and continued to be a drunk. Got sober at 24 and have been sober now for 15 years. I have a wonderful life but I noticed about 2 years ago that I always get all wrapped up in my "significant other" and just make my whole world about them and try to please just one person in my life. It is very important to have friends for so many reasons. I made a goal last year to be more social and make more friends and it has been an interesting journey. On Christmas day I counted my friends and I had made 87 friends this last year, so I thought.. I recently learned after speaking to one of these 87 friends that I have mostly acquired acquaintances. Wow, I need to now make my next years goal to nurture these "acquaintances" to be more true friends. It is just one half of the deal to make the acquaintance, the other half is to actually give (without expectation) to the people in your social circle and  make these relationships something that you can be proud of.

I keep thinking since I left the "Rat Race of LA" (Thank God) for a more serene life here in beautiful Santa Barbara that when I am 90 and sitting on my porch, what will matter most to me? The RELATIONSHIPS that I had will matter the most and the love that I shared with those relationships. I have also realized that I need to spend more time actually doing my art and "letting go and letting God". I have been afraid of success and failure with my art. It is also a very hard thing to mix art with business and one that I am still working on daily right now. It feels good to be in this state of mind and just think of doing the next indicated step and the next right thing. I have surrendered to the fact that God is my teacher with my art, business and life and that I just need to do the work, handle my part and leave his part to him to take care of for me.  That is another great fact for us in the program of AA that we do not have to worry so much about life issues that arise, we can have calm in the storm and it feels great and very comforting.  The blessings I get from AA I can never repay or explain to  anyone how much of a great life it has given to me. The program is my great teacher of life and a gift that my Mom gave to me when I needed it. I could go on and on about AA but I got this e-mail form another one of those 87 friends haha. So I will share that as well..

Written by a 90 year old
This is something we should all read at least once a week!!!!! Make sure you read to the end!!!!!!
Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone
8. Its OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29 What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come...
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."