O, for the love of a friend
Who can be made the sacred trustee of my heart;
One who is more to me than the closest relative;
One whose very name is so sacred that I want to whisper it softly;
One who lingers near my door in time of distress,
And stretches forth his hand,
Which is not empty or cold,
And who may only say little, but feels largely.
One particular week, about a month ago, as I was cruising around blogland, it seemed that everywhere I looked, I saw posts about loneliness, depression, loss of identity, and, often the common thread? The lack of friends. Not only did I read the posts, but in many cases I read the comments as well. Comments filled by dozens of readers who nodded in agreement with the author (in some cases, I was one of them). I think it’s safe to assume that for every brave soul who put herself and her feelings out there for the world to see in the form of a post or comment, there existed at least one other sweet soul who felt the same way, but didn’t want anybody else to know.
Why is this so pervasive? Why are so many of us depressed, friendless, and alone? – I began searching for the answers by taking a poll and asking how many of you DID have deep friendships in your life right now. Not just acquaintances, but the true-blue thing. People you can call anytime, about anything. People who know what is going on in your life. People who aren’t afraid to call you out when they see you living in damaging patterns. People you can let your hair down with. People you can be around with no make up on (literally and figuratively). People who invite you over to share peanut butter sandwiches and bottom-of-the-bag chip crumbs!
The answers I got back were very mixed. A few said yes, lots said no, some said yes-but-they-live-in-different-states and so weren’t true “do life together” friends…
But the most surprising answer I got from many of you was this: that you did have a circle of friends that were slightly beyond surface acquaintances, and were people you could call on to borrow a stick of butter from, but they were not deep bosom friends. And (here was the surprise) the reason why they weren’t, was because you didn’t have the time to invest in nurturing those friendships into something deeper. – Wow. Interesting…
Have we hit something here?
I know we’re busy girls, but when we are too busy for friendship? Those of us who are married do have a built-in best friend, it’s true, but I still feel like the importance of other females and couples investing in and enriching our lives is pretty up there at the top of the list for living a healthy, well-rounded life. -
Not to mention how much BEING a true friend helps us to grow in kindness, and encourages us to not focus so exclusively on ourselves and our problems all the time. Which in turn, helps us maintain a general outward focus, making us positive, contributing members of society.
Ok, let’s pause for a question: how many of you believe that there is a perfect soul-mate out there for you? Maybe you’ve already found him! Maybe you’re still looking…but irregardless…do you believe in the concept? Now: how many of you believe that there are perfect friend-mates out there for you as well? People you were meant to be connected to in this world? Whose life is more complete because you are a part of it, and vice versa? I do.
Trust me girls, I know what the meaning of busy is, and I fight against that word defining my life everyday…but I truly want to make room for friendship in my life. – I want it to be high up on my priority list everyday. My life is richer, fuller, more balanced, complete, and less me-focused when good friends are a part of it. – Is yours?
If so, if you’re desiring more friendship, deep friendship in your lives, and you’re willing to invest some time in nurturing it, will you come back this week and dialogue about it? Let’s explore together what deep friendship looks like, what things keep us from pursuing and cultivating friendships, and maybe even how we can grow in being a better friend ourselves.
Linked to Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now