Sacrificing all our individual needs doesn’t strengthen a relationship.
Mutually supporting each others personal growth does.
Everyone has dreams, goals; things that drive them or help them to have a purpose in life. For some it’s children or careers, for others it’s making money or helping to create a better world. Regardless of our focus, the question I have is this; do we need a support system, someone who believes in us, to get there? It’s certainly important to have self-confidence and believe in your dreams, but is that enough? Or do we truly need an objective set of eyes or an external voice that supports and encourages us to move ahead?
Over the past 10+ years I have moved around quite a bit. From Wisconsin to California to Illinois and back. Over that time I have learned how important it is to have a personal support system to keep you sane. I think the great blessing I have received this past decade is the gift of friendship.
Whether it’s a man married to a woman, a girlfriend who supports her boyfriend, a man who supports his partner or a parent who supports her children … it really comes down to who we are as people. Love does not know gender, age or race, well not unconditional love.
What it comes down to is the love of one another and the respect that comes with that, or in other words the need for us to support each other as humans, as people and as individuals with individual dreams, goals and desires. We all deserve a chance to be more than our inner workings — a chance to step outside of the box and have a moment in the light, a moment in flight.
It’s no small thing to feel accepted, valued, loved, in another person’s eyes.
And now this brief musical interlude of The Merm and me singing about personal support systems.
I know it’s hokey, but you get the gist of what I’m saying.
We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed.
As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over;
so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.
If we’re fortunate, we have people in our lives that help us remember who we are and that we are not alone in our days here: friends, partners, co-workers, exercise buddies, book clubbers, yogis. These are the people who support us — they hold us up, like strong beams against a howling wind. Having friends is natural and effortless when we are young, but for me, it takes much work in this latter part of my life.
What is it about relationships at this phase of our life that take so much more work? Busy? Yes. Excuses? Yes. They don’t feel like excuses, but they are; we know it. We have important, pressing, urgent, time sensitive responsibilities to others and to ourselves. There are jobs to apply for, family to care for and lessons to be learned, but these never can fill the aching emptiness of not having the personal interaction with your personal support network – your friends.
Much too quickly, we find ourselves only doing, and not maintaining. And this is when the emptiness hurts that much more.
It’s not easy, and it takes effort and planning, sometimes just acting on the impulse to reach out — to make time for friends and personal contacts — but it’s worth every bit of time and effort. Life is better with someone there to give a pat on the back or send a kind word. Knowing there are minds and hearts out there, caring about you, sending you love. The personal support system that friendships create is something that reminds us that we have a place to turn to.
I could go on, but I think I’ll end this by giving a few shout outs to people who over the past 10 years have enriched my live, shown support and offered me the gift of friendship:
California — Kristine D, Scott, Liz, Carole, Greg, Olivier and my beloved Rachel.
Illinois — Tami, Holly & your boys, Rich & John, Brandon & Betsy, Jesse, Eileen, Colleen & Chris
Wisconsin — Deb & Mark, Tommy TRC, Jamie RV, Penny, Jeff (the brilliant yoga teacher), Ryan and Beth (also brilliant yoga teachers), MBG, Sivaramakrishna, Gina and Noe
And to all of you reading this I say thank you too for supporting me.
The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal
and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime.
Bhole Babaji ki Jai!