Monday, January 08, 2007

SELF-TRANSFORMATION LESSON.... ON FRIENDSHIPS


Thoughts on Friendships-

As a young girl I remember singing the rhyme-

"Make new friends

But keep the old

One is silver

And the other..gold"

As I approach my 60th birthday, I have been paging through old photo albums, looking at worn snapshots of friends in grade school, high school, college and beyond. I am struck by how many of those dear people, who mattered so much, have faded into the past, their whereabouts unknown.

My oldest fried is Linda Wise, otherwise known as "Linny". We have been friends since we were 14 months old. She turns sixty in a few weeks, and my birthday follows shortly after. We have been friends for almost sixty years, have traveled together, shared the loss of all of our parents (who were dear friends), and know each other's history and "story".

I have friends like Sharon Hartnett, who lives in Seattle, that I talk to almost weekly and travel to Cannon Beach with each year for a spiritual retreat! We laugh ourselves silly, the kind of laughing that makes you pee in your pants and saves your soul. She is someone I can always count on. She prays for me, and I pray for her.

Other friends like Eileen Thompson and Nancy Gossett are also spiritual soul sisters. We have been through so much..major illnesses, children's ups and downs, our aging process. We have laughed and cried. I can call and ask them to pray, and I know they will lovingly follow through. Our friendship times are cherished as we squeeze them in between work and busy schedules.

I am blessed to say that my daughter Amy and my daughter Jessi are my friends. I am their Mom, but as adult women we share our lives and our hearts.

I can count on Amy to love me just as I am, but challenge me to be more than I thought I could be. She is one of the "truth tellers" in my life, and the day she became a Christian was one of the best days of my life. We share our love of the Lord, our love for our families, and can talk for hours about personal growth and family. She is the most unselfish person I know and someone who is one of my role models for courage and change!

Jessi is my friend, and we share a love of teaching, family, traditions, and each other. She challenges me to get healthy and stretch what I think I can do athletically. She'll get me just the right book to read, a pedometer to measure my steps, or a sentimental card that brings me to tears. Her abilities, self-determination and self-discipline blow me away. She and I have a friendship that has grown in leaps and bounds in the past several years.

Jessi and Amy know, in their deepest hearts, that I will love them forever, like them for always, and for as long as I'm living and beyond, my babies they'll be!

Bert, the love of my life, is my best friend. I love him to the moon and back. He loves me as I am and even thinks I'm cute. He believes in me, prays for me, and knows my heart through and through.

I have friends at school and friends at church. Female friends and male friends. Old friends and new friends. But somehow..there is never enough time to catch up with all of them. Some are silver, and they all are gold!

As I get older, I have the strong desire to hold on to the important friendships in my life... to give more time to them, more love to them, more patience to them, and more forgiveness to them. I want to remember their birthdays, their anniversaries, the days that mark the loss of a loved one. I want to connect and reconnect. I want to share the stories that make us laugh, make us cry, and make us who we are!

My Mom was a great role model for deeply caring about friends. She remembered their anniversaries, even after their beloved spouses had died. She called them just to say hello or check in on an illness. She sent cards, letters, and love.

I want part of my self-transformation to include more lunches with friends, more "spa dates", more spoiling my friends so they will never doubt how much I love and adore them. I want more real moments where we let down our guard and bare our true souls. I want more honest moments where we give each other the tough and loving feedback that challenges each of us to be our best selves....I want more moments, period!

When they are gone...and I am gone...I want no regrets!

God Bless! Love, Linda

4 comments:

Kim Ellis said...

Linda - I am so moved by your post that it has brought tears to my eyes.

I value all of my friendships and there are a few who mean more to me than any amount of gold that I could possibly receive.

It is important that we make time for our friends and let them know how much we value them.

Have a super day!

jessithompson said...

This is another amazing post, mom. You have incredible life insights. Geez, ever thought about writing a book??? :)

Friendships are the spice of life and best friends more like family...

One of the most amazing things you have ever taught me about friendships is the analogy of the bullseye. If your levels of intimacy with people are like the rings of a bullseye, than you have people like the grocery store clerk in the outermost circle and maybe your spouse in the innermost circle.

The biggest life lesson that you taught me is that you are free to move people in and out of the bullseye as you need to and is appropriate.

Just because you have known someone forever, doesn't mean they have to stay in a close ring if you're not really connected to them anymore...

When someone is there for you at a time when you need them and you didn't even need to ask means you might move them in a circle...

Just because someone is supposedly a "really good friend" or a member of your family and hurts you deeply, doesn't mean you can't move them out with the grocery store clerk...

I have also learned that you don't need very many people on the inside. A real friend is worth more than a million social aquaintances.

Thanks for being true friend to me, Mom. I love you.

kathibest said...

Wow! Linda what a beautifully reflective post.

Moments are gifts to be treasured for sure.

I think the "true treasure" of a moment is "the person" you spend that moment with. As you so eloquently stated!

Sometimes our moments are with our spouses or our family, neighbors, sometimes with acquaintances, clients, students or friends, sometimes with God, or a stranger and sometimes with ourselves.

Your life reflects that you have invested well along the way. I am happy for you and you are very fortunate to have so many loving and trusting people in your inner cirle. That speaks volumes about the qualtiy of your personal character and integrity.

I believe one of the fabulous wisdoms we develop along our lifes path is the ability to "discern and choose" who we allow into our inner circle. If we have more than a handful we are richly blessed.

Your life is already richly blessed and I hope that the 6th decade of your life brings you more joy, love, lunches with friends, spa days and special moments than your beautiful person can even wish for.

The Farrell Family said...

Your friendships is one of the greatest treasures in my life. There are very few people in this world who know me as well as you do and love me despite all of that. You challenge me to grow in the most important ways... you support the desires of my heart. I will love you forever.

"Dirt Therapy"...

                                          Planting a seed                           is believing                           in tomorrow . ...