Who hasn’t, at one time or another, been shunned, disappointed or hurt by someone we thought was our friend? Whether it happened when we’re young or in adulthood we’ve all had friends we valued and trusted, convinced that our lives would be forever entwined. Then, suddenly, SNAP. The friendship is over and we’re left wondering what went wrong.
C’mon, you know it’s happened to you!
Early last year I wrote about “The Importance of Nurturing Our Friendships” because I believed in the beauty of long-lasting friendships. I still do and always will.
As part of the TV generation I grew up loving the close relationship I watched unfold between Lucy and Ethel, and in my teens I became enamored with Mary and Rhoda. I wanted what they had; that easy, honest, you-have-my-back-and-I-will-always-have-yours camaraderie that good friends have when they unconditionally care about each other.
Unfortunately those type of friendships aren’t always easy to come by. After all, life is not a work of fiction. If it were we’d all be living in The Truman Show with writers pulling the strings on our friendships.
I’ve been lucky. Without any writers pulling my strings I met four girls in grade school who are my sister/friends. We’ve laughed, cried, exchanged hard truths and cheered each another on with each passing decade.
They say you’re blessed if you have one or two good friends. While that’s true I also value the new friends I’ve made who bring a special meaning to my life. I cherish them and do my best to tend to them because they are important to me.
People meet in friendship as the circumstances of our lives change. From the first day of school through our later years friends come in and out of our lives. Some stick around for a season while others remain by our side forever.
As we age having loyal friends becomes more important. We depend on one another for support, compassion and understanding through the joys and sorrows of life. Solid friendships help us remain socially active so that we can continue to thrive and feel a sense of belonging, These relationships help us live a longer quality of life..
But in the current age of global connections it’s not always easy to make new friends. Texting, private messaging and commenting leave out the nuances of nonverbal communication and social skills. This fast-paced mode of reaching out and touching someone can never replace the value of spending quality time face-to-face with family and friends.
(NOTE: I’m glad I had my son when I did. With no cell phones, and the Internet in its infancy, there was no reason to become distracted by the chimes coming from my cell phone. A pet peeve of mine is seeing a parent pushing a baby carriage while talking on their cell phone. Put the phone down and be mindful of the magical yet fleeting time you’re spending with your child! The call can wait until later.)
We crave finding communities of like-minded people, ones who share our beliefs and experiences. It’s in those tribes where we’ll find comfort and connection. Where can we find them? If you haven’t already you can begin by taking a look at “7 Tips for Finding Your Tribe” by Lissa Rankin, M.D. as she talks about her own struggles with finding her tribe. She provides some great ideas to help us find ours.
And since this is my blog and I love Angela, Bea, Carole and James I’m going to share with you two of my favorite songs about friendship. You’re welcome!
And now onto Carole and James.
Before I go I’d like to share the following quote that I enjoyed from The Daily Om, a newsletter I subscribe to, that sums up how I feel about true friendship:
Here are three interesting articles on friendship and finding your tribe:
A 3-Step Plan to Find Your Tribe (mindbodygreen by Shelly Bullard)
A Longer Life is Lived with Company (The New York Times by Elizabeth H. Pope)
7 Ways to Form Deep, Meaningful Friendships (Tiny Buddha by Annika Martins)