Friday, December 4, 2009

Taking a Pause to Ponder — The Subject is Friendship



In The Fabric of Friendship, author Joy Carol writes:

“If I were to name something special that I would want to give every woman on earth, it would be the gift of a healthy friendship with another woman. Women who have strong, genuine friendships feel accepted, affirmed, supported, sustained, and loved, even in the most difficult times.” 

I love this book. 

One of the most potent acts of celebrating ourselves is spending time with a kindred spirit. A meal shared with a dear friend can do more to enhance our sense of self than just about anything I can think of. If time and budget are constrained, even a companionable cup of tea or coffee can serve as a balm to our soul. In a pinch, a phone conversation will do. Minutes of uplifting dialogue with a dear one who affirms our essence can set our heart dancing again.

I'm off to begin a weekend of good self-care by meeting up with a dear friend. We are having lunch and browsing through two bead stores. I've come to realize that the relationships I have with other women are vital to my growth and well-being. I credit much of who I am today to friendship and to the wise presence of female mentors in my life over the years. I am more patient, kind, and accepting of myself because they mirror this back to me. They embrace me as I am.

How about you?


How have you benefited from having women friends? 

What have you learned about yourself through the gift of friendship? 


(Image courtesy of livewiththrive.com)

10 comments:

Angela Recada said...

I really value the long-standing friendships I have with a handful of special women. One thing I have learned from them is that we can have very different political and religious beliefs, but still be the best of friends. Our friendships are so much a part of our hearts and lives that a few differing opinions don't matter at all.

Have a lovely weekend.
:0)

mermaid said...

Kindred spirits really are like angels. They help us to feel safe and reflect our own beauty.

May you have a wonderful time this weekend!

Jan said...

Angela,
It does sound like you are very blessed to have friends that embrace one another despite some pretty big differences. That WOULD be the nature of true friendship. So happy for you!

Paul Maurice Martin said...

Similarly to Angela, my best friend in my late teens through early twenties taught me to really appreciate and understand diversity.

We were hugely different in all kinds of ways but had core values that were much the same. That kind of difference/similarity can make for wonderful friendships because both people end up exploring areas of life they may not have otherwise looked into.

Rose - The Center of My Self said...

My dearest and closest friends have always been men for some reason. They're been so wonderful and supportive of me, but a woman friendship is different, isn't it? In recent years, I've developed closer friendships with women and am enjoying the value that they add, especially as we age and our bodies and attitudes change and mature.

Davine said...

Female friendships are indeed a very special thing. I am very lucky to have a lots of dear friends. Four of my special friends are from primary school. It is such a wonderful friendship to have - we have history and acccept each other for just being us.

Jan said...

Paul, so very true. Glad to hear that you were open hearted enough to embrace a friend who was "different." We do grow by leaps and bounds from such diverse friendships. I like to think they are divine gifts to crack our hearts wide open because our loving hearts are so needed in the world -- yes, even at an early age. :-) Blessings!

Rose,
I had a lot of early friendships with men too. Interesting! My really significant female friendships did not arise until I was nearly 40! And rich they have been. Hope yours will grow and flourish.

Davine,
You are blessed to have friendships that have withstood the test of time. A rarity, I think...I have one dear friend whom I met in 5th grade. She now lives in another state and we rarely see each other, but when we do connect, it is as if no time at all has passed. Enjoy this great gift of yours!

Miche - Serenity Hacker said...

Hi Jan,

Absolutely, positively, my female friends have been one of the saving graces of my life. I couldn't imagine my life without them. I feel strongly that woman need to connect with other woman... there's something really nurturing in that, no matter what you're doing (tea, bead shopping, crying on each other's shoulders, checking in quickly on the phone...).

-Miche

suZen said...

Hi Jan! To me there is nothing to compare to a few "soul sister" friends I have. Two are long distance now, but we can pick up the phone and feel it was just yesterday - and we have traveled cross country to "be there" for each other as well! And I always had a few friends much older - wonderful wise women, like Millie, whose humor and joy of life were totally contagious! I feel very blessed!

jan said...

Miche,
Glad to hear that the friendship of women fills your heart. I'm with you—no matter what that looks like, no matter what activity—the gentle voice of a supportive friend may be all we need.

SuZen,
You are blessed! Not one, but two great friends. And then, Millie. :-) I love the post you wrote on her. What a crazy, love and wonder-filled friendship!