The value of friendship

I visited an old friend last week. I love catching up with old friends. Seeing people who “knew me when” – especially those who not only knew me then but still know me now –  does something remarkable to my soul. It’s as if that deep part of life’s only desire sees a glimpse into realization. Maybe not even a glimpse. Maybe it’s a full realization that I am known.

As I caught my friend up on my life, telling him about my closest friends, crushes, heartbreaks, and dreams, he offered the occasional comment and observation.

My whole body and mind loves it when a friend declares an accurate statement, affirming they not only heard what I said, but understood it. My shoulders sink back and my chin lifts up while my eyes soften and for that one instant I know that everything in life is as it should be.

“You have really good friends”.

“Wow. Yes. I really do. I’ve chosen to surround myself with people who make it easy to say, ‘because of this person, I am better’.”

Let me tell you, some days these friends are really hard work. Some days they make me angry. Some days I want to pack all my bags and move closer to the Tropics. Some days we talk on the phone for nearly an hour and I’ve only said a few words – none of them about myself.

But even on those “somedays”, I have really good friends.

Because on the other days, the days when we’re doing nothing more than living life, they make me better. On the lonely days, they remind me I’m lying to myself. On the crazy days, they remind me “this too, shall pass”. On the days when I think I’m the only person in the whole entire world who did this sin or feels that way or can’t figure it out, they boldly say, “me, too”.

I may live in a tiny apartment by myself, but I certainly don’t live alone.

Neither, do you.

Community, Grow

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