Life will treat us roughly from time to time, but it is those whom we love and who love us that allow us to swim with the current of life's little and big tragedies. These are topics that poets write about, musicians create tunes for, and artists dedicate their lives to capturing and expressing.
Love - Connection - Friendship - meeting another who reflects your own sense of self. Meeting one who meshes with those places in you that need partnering, whether it is someone who helps you unleash the wild and crazy side of you or the person who helps you settle down, is what we call joy in relationship and can create a loving community.
We all need these connections to remind ourselves that we are really all fragments of a whole. Soul mates search for each other encounter themselves - it is the same for friendmates. Friends and lovers are the people whom we call when we are sad and lonely, when we are soaring high filled with joy, and when we are everywhere in-between. Just today I received a phone call from a friend of mine who lives five states away. It was the middle of the day. She called because it is National Happiness Day, and she called me because our friendship makes her happy! This was such a wonderful gift. So, make some friends - they are good for you!
But how can we make good friends? Often friendships arise in school situations - you have class, you study together, you go to football games (at least if you live in Texas!), you tip some cows, you go dancing... etc. You travel in large groups that overlap other people's groups. You meet new people... you sometimes find your love. As adults, we often move and must find new friends, new social circles. The above mentioned friend and I met 16 years ago at church. It took about a year for us to become friends.
Regular meetings involving shared experiences give relationships places to evolve and grow. Dinners, hiking, tours, working partnerships and study, dancing, watching movies, book groups etc. all create the oppurtunities to make more and more connections and to deepen relationships. Shared experiences is the name of the game. The same friend above and I have survived multiple moves - each time one of us moves, we visit each other's new home. We share experiences in each other's now hometowns. We keep connected to their lives.
Want more friends or deepen your current relationship networks - try having dinner once a week with someone different. Want more couple friends? Try couple dating - have another couple over for dinner and or game night. Go on an old fashion double date - movie? putt putt? dancing? bowling? Want to maintain long distance relationships? Plan vacations that bring you together. I have a small group of friends who regularly travel from all over the United States to meet one weekend a year. We bonded over a teacher training during an intense three years. we love each other and look forward to each meeting. This last year we laughed and cried together. We shared our pains (two of us are in the middle of a rough year). We gave each other support, reminded each other how much we love each other AND how awesome we think each other is. We also gave advice - direction- light and wisdom. These weekends are empowering and uplifting.
When all is said and done, without friendship, without love, without being connected to others - life is boring. Make a date with a friend today! Please feel free to share some of your favorite activities to get connected with friends.