I was very lucky to find a great friend early in life. She is usually the first person I call when anything happens in my life. Currently, we live on opposite sides of the country, she’s in California and I’m in Florida. We met at church when we were about nine or ten years old. We are the same age, our birthday’s are on the same day, different months (she’s in December, I’m in September), and we were born at the same hospital. To say that we were meant to be is an understatement for us. I only get to see her once a year but for us nothing has changed except a plane ride.
Over the years I’ve tried to form bonds with other girls/women but the friendships never seemed to connect well. I think it’s mostly because of me though. I’ve had some really bad friendships with some who claimed to be a friend but ended up doing or saying something that caused me to not trust them and to pull away. I learned to keep my circle of friends very small. Basically, it was just my friend Swayla and my sister.
Recently, I’ve come to understand that creating a sisterhood can be very important in a women’s life. A sisterhood, community of women, can help to strengthen one other when a safe place can be created that allows women to openly and honestly share with one another. Two weeks ago I was invited to a gathering at coworker’s house. While she and I do talk periodically by phone, we don’t hang out or meet up regularly. I am not one to attend too many get-togethers because I don’t want to open myself up to false friendships. However, I wanted to support my coworker who was hosting because I find her to be very kind and genuine.
Surprisingly, I had a very nice time. What stood out to me most that afternoon was the story my coworker told about a group of women she recently began working out with. At a stressful point in her life, my coworker decided that she wanted to start working out to clear her mind and relieve stress. After some research, she came across this group of women who met to work out together. In this group, they not only support one another during work outs but have created a sisterhood to support one another inside and outside of the gym. They support each others goals, hold one another accountable and regularly meet up to personally check in.
First, to find a friend, one must show themselves as a friend.
Second, connect with like-minded people.
Third, don’t be afraid to share your story because God didn’t intent for us to walk this journey alone.
As I have continued to read Craving Connection, I have learned what it means to be a friend and also how silence about my pain and struggles can sometimes push me into isolation and make me fearful of letting others in. While I am not suggesting that you go out and blab your business to everyone in order to find friends but start small. Look around the outer ring of your current circle of friends. See if there is one or two women you could possible have a deeper connection with. Invite them to lunch or coffee and hang out. The more you are around them the more you may feel comfortable and this may help you to open up more. Some friendships may simply be general and pleasant from a distance and that’s ok. The overall goal is to not isolate yourself to the point where you are not reaching out or growing to your full potential. Work on developing relationships that will stretch, support and encourage you.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. – Maya Angelou