A good friend is like a tonic: a medicinal concoction that is brewed to make us feel healthier, livelier and re-energized. A “tonic friendship” therefore, is like a healthy blend of mutual respect, positive attachment, affection, loyalty, love, respect and trust.
Some friends have been with us through our lives, and it seems like we are going to be “friends forever”. Some only form part of the sweet memories of our past, some come and go by the seasons while some just walk in when we need them most. They are just like angels that came to be our rock in our weakest moments of crisis and confusion. They show up and facilitate our best interests when we need guidance and direction in life. They are tonic friends that are God-sent; timely, faithful and real.
Tonic friends are those people that listen carefully to us just as we would do the same when they whine. They forgive our biggest mistakes and they do not forget our smallest favours. They understand the meaning of our gestures, the stridence of our silence, the intent of our intonations, and the intensity of our feelings. Our tonic friends give us the gifts of smile and the laughter that brings tears to our eyes. Would life not be such a tedious journey if not for tonic friends that cheer and encourage us on?
It is with these tonic friends that one can feel safe and at home to discuss one’s troubles and sadness without any shame. With them you find expression for your bottled up resentments, to let out steam, relieve your stress, have your side of the story heard, and get things off your chest. They offer their shoulders for you to cry on, coax you and soothe your sting when bitten by the sharp teeth of trial. While they give you hope and encourage your efforts to grow, they will also tell you the unalloyed truth about yourself so that you can get real about your stand on your own personal issues.
However, tonic friendships don’t just happen. They are similar to other good things in life: what you will get out of it is usually equal to the effort you put into it. You should reach out to make new tonic friends, reconnect with old ones and develop quality connections. This can lead to a positive context for you to grow and achieve the greatness you have always dreamt of. Every meaningful relationship should begin and be sustained with tonic friendship: a friendship of purity, sincerity, piety, service and loyalty. Indeed, a person who finds a tonic friend has found a priceless treasure.