Personal Growth, relationships

Celebrating Friendship

You Just Need One Good Friend

My mom is always quoting, “you just need one good friend….”

As women our inner “cave-women” still desires a group or pack, as that is how we would have protected ourselves from predators, or the threatening male, in prehistoric times. Taking into account the teachings in the book The Female Brain, this is why it “feels” so catastrophic when we are made an outcast from a the female pack. To our cave-women ancestor, it would have most likely decreased her chances of survival if left on her own.  Still today it can be a cold and cruel world out their on your own so it is important that we find that one good friend to help us through.

I’m lucky. I have 4-6 in my immediate area and several who are a plane ride away. I have strong women who are in my life that truly exemplify what it means to be a friend. One of my friend has sat with me for hours on a day of receiving bad news about a cherished pet, and asked Dr’s to teach her what they were teaching me in the way of caring for him, so that she could step in and help me. And help me she did. One day as I stood in a urine soaked dress because my 70-lb dog went paralyzed no longer than 24hrs earlier, but had to go to work, she said “Go, I got this. Don’t worry. Let me help you.” People surprise you when they are right under your nose. They say God will put people in your path when you need them, and for me I have lucked out with them being placed as neighbors on either side of me. Two beautiful people who will do whatever they can to selflessly help or step-in where family would be. So they become family stand-ins.

Then I have two friends, one of who I have known for years and we have seen each other go through so much. The “crosses we carry”, she calls them. She is a person who has a beautiful soul and no matter how sad she might be, she always finds a way to smile. Then the other is hands down the best listener I’ve ever met. I love these ladies both for their keen intuition and compassion  which are amazing gifts not only to them, but to me. I am grateful to have them.

Then there are those ladies who have moved away to pursue there own dreams and life, but no matter how many miles away they are, and no matter how much life has been lived in those years apart, I can pick up with them as if I just saw them yesterday.

What I have in all these women is trust. I know I can trust them to never harshly pass judgement on me, to always love me, and they take care to understand me and accept me as I am. I can put my vulnerable messy self out there and they will offer me open arms to step into. They can speak the truth to me, but they also know to be gentle with their words. If I need to speak, they listen with empathy.

These friends (and there are a few others that I didn’t include in here, but have close to my heart as I write this), remind me that I matter. And likewise, they matter to me. I care about these people. When they hurt, I hurt. When they have something to celebrate, I want to be right there with them to help celebrate along side of them. I value there friendship. I value the time and energy they give to me. All of these women are beautiful human beings. They are always unconditional with their love, and never make me feel like I have a debt to repay to them. Although at times I might feel like I don’t deserve them, they just inspire me to give them my best and genuine self.

The best friend of them all is my mother. She has endless devotion to me. I wish everyone was as lucky as me to have the bond I have with me mother. I can not lie or hold secrets from her because she just knows. She knows me better than I know myself and she has allowed me safe space to grow into myself. If it was not for my mother, I do not know how I would feel so safe in the world.

Some friendships are lifelong, and some are short term. Consider life to be like a train. Friends are passengers who get on and off at their own destination, so enjoy the time they chose to ride as a travel companion. Allow them to enjoy yours. Not everyone will love you or appreciate you, so invest in those who do. In kindergarten we recited, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other is gold.” Friendships are precious and valuable. Take care of those who love you and love them back.  Honor the amazing friends you have and hold them close to your heart as their friendship is a beautiful gift.

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