Friday, January 20, 2017

The Importance of Friendship

Let's talk about friendship. One of the most important things to me in regards to my children is that they make good friends. I hope that they will feel known, loved and supported by these people in their lives. I know the day is coming soon where their friend's opinion may mean more than mine–a time where they may feel more comfortable confiding in someone else. I am thankful for the positive influences in my life that have provided encouragement and support and have helped me to see the world through different lenses.

I have been gifted with solid relationships through birth (my four sisters), school, work and church. There are varying levels and depth to these friendships but for the deepest ones I am most thankful. My best friend and I met in grade eight and although we don't see each other as often as we should, we have been through so much together and have had similar experiences allowing us to understand each other more; from the early loss of a loved one to travelling overseas to a similar heart for safe adventures–we just "get" each other. As C.S. Lewis said "Friendship ... is born at the moment when one man says to another "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”.

I remember arguing with my sisters a lot growing up, well, mostly the one closest in age. My mom said "One day you'll be great friends!" to which we vomited a bit in our mouths. My mom had five brothers and was the only girl–she was so thankful that we had each other. Over my mom's illness and then passing away, my sisters and I grew closer and it has encouraged us to make each other a priority. Yes, we are busy with our own families but we still check in with each other daily via group emails and try to help out beyond emotional support whenever we can.

When Gary and I got married, he was not my best friend. I didn't turn to him when I wanted emotional support because we approached things so differently–we still do. However, he has learned that although he feels things much differently than I do, that doesn't make my feelings invalid and vise versa; we have grown in our love and friendship because of this. There is no one else I would rather spend my time with than him...unless he's crunching loudly. Friendship in marriage rocks.

I hear from many people that they crave true friendships–a depth that can't be forced. It's tricky in this day and age where we are so busy with our work and families and feel like we've touched base via social media. What allows for this desired depth? Is it time? Shared experiences? A magical combination of personalities? I know that to make a good friend, you need to be one. For me, I need to feel heard and that means I need to truly listen to others. That said, I don't want to be the constant questions-asker. I value an open mind with a large dose of empathy. I appreciate a desire to get to know each other better–a level of trust and openness. I also enjoy spending time with those that are courageous and adventurous. And finally, I love new ideas and perspectives when someone can challenge my current way of thinking. Thank you to the people in my life who are my dear friends, you know who you are.

I hope that if true friendship is what you desire, it is something that you can find and build. Everyone needs someone in their corner. Whether it's a sports team, book club, parent group or church, there are friends ready to be made. Where have you met your greatest friends? What are the most important ingredients for your friendships?  

Now to find the perfect couple friends that enjoy good food and an overnight hiking adventure...


“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” – Helen Keller


  1. My best friend was dropped into my lap when she married my brother-in-law :) I never experienced friendship like that throughout high school and I'm so grateful for her!

    1. I love this!!! Oh how I hope my kids and their partners are all get along well...awesome friends would be the icing on the cake!