THE VALUE OF FRIENDSHIP
My husband has a saying.
“You put the feelings in a jar…you push them way way down…& then you close the lid”….
For me, this past year not only popped off the lid. It kind of shattered the whole jar.
One of the hardest years of my life and probably one of the best in teaching me how to live.
I felt a tremendous sense of loss this year. From losing a dear friend, business relationships, money, trust, beliefs, and faith: this year suitably kicked my ass on all fronts.
But what I realize now is that every time I have felt lost, I ultimately ending up being found. Whether it was the discovery on how I function, behave or think, each loss gave me new perspective & priority on what is important in my life.
What I lost.
Grief hit deep and hard when one of my closest friends passed away this year. Her loss was cataclysmic and admittedly I lost my way. I retreated. I was deeply blue. I felt alone. I felt disappointed by a number of my friends. Friends who I had been there for, listened to, nursed, and supported through a number of trying times in their lives didn’t seem to be there when I needed them the most.
Here’s the kicker.
I forgot to tell them.
And they forgot to ask.
With the advance of social media, we assume we know what is going on in each others lives because of the 1% of our lives we have posted that day. It has become the norm that a “like”, a <hugs>, a <3 means that as a friend you are thinking of someone. When people see you smiling, travelling, experiencing life on social, they automatically assume you are OK.
Not so my friends. So not so.
I hadn’t wanted to burden them with my stuff, and yet they were going through a ton of stuff on their own that they too didn’t want to burden anybody with. Damn you Facebook.
By managing friendships through social, we have lost the ability to look into friend’s eyes and see what is really happening in their world. To sense their hesitation when you ask what’s up. To see the tears well up when you ask if they’re ok.
What I found.
When I started actively reaching out, I found that I still have those friends. Those relationships are in the core of my heart. Those friendships are solid. They have carried me over the hardest hills and helped me land on the other side.
The biggest priority for me now is to renew friendships in person and value the relationships I have cultivated. To make plans (& stick to those plans) to spend quality time in person. To show them my love & my gratitude. To take the time to let writers/friends know their words affected me. To share impact moments. To show appreciation, practice kindness, and spread joy.
Seeing, listening & being with each other in real life. Laughing, crying, hugging and supporting each other through ALL our times.
That connection point for me is the most essential to renew in my life and I simply can’t wait to catch up.