My mantra is ‘my female friendships are my saving grace, they are my backbone’. Friendships in my youth were intense, energetic, on and off and mainly taken for granted.
Today, I value my friendships deeply, they are calm, supportive and filled with love, light and laughter. When we hit a sticky patch common sense, compassion and empathy prevail. When I hit a sticky patch, I know they will support me and have my back yet they will challenge me and give me a gentle or not too gentle a nudge. They even make me laugh at myself.
My friendships are built on trust, respect, value and caring. It is said to have a friend you need to be a friend. Over many decades I have had many casual and deep friendships that I nurtured. Over the past 20 years, due to life’s experiences where I was facing the dark nights of my soul I was in need of support and my friends were there for me, they helped me realise I was OK, I was enough and I could do it (whatever ‘it’ happened to be). I have been repaid tenfold and more. I did not form friendships over time thinking years down the track they would do something for me.
Today we ride the rollercoaster of friendship and aging with humour, compassion and wisdom. Having turned 70 years of age my friends who cover a wide age range, are my blessings. There is no pretence, we can be ourselves.
Conversations about everything
When someone raises a difficult issue, there is often a sense of discovery and of relief around the table. Someone else may not have been game to raise it, they may have felt ashamed, guilty or felt they were letting someone down. Almost invariably, others had a story that invoked a sense of revelation: of airing something previously hidden in silence. I find that women want to talk about their difficult and important relationships and challenges with other women.
I prioritise my friendships because they nourish me, they give me a fresh perspective which lightens my mood. If we can’t get together in person then the phone or online works great. How lucky are we that today we have technology to keep us connected?
Super ways to catch up
We catch up frequently in different ways, face to face sitting round a table with a coffee or a wine is best. Hugs are super important to me, the power of human touch is invaluable. Conversation flows more easily, you feel more intensely, the body language tells its own story. I usually touch base weekly or fortnightly. Other friends I may not see for months in person yet when we meet it is like we spoke yesterday. Different friends are there for me in different ways, you just know who to call.
We are living in a time of massive societal change in relationships, family, the workforce and community and there is a change in consciousness that is surrounding and embracing us. Friendships help us over that bridge.
Friends who are there in tough times
It is easy to feel disempowered when life gets tough. When you are so busy professionally, personally and in your community. It is easy to lose sight of your value and who you are as a person. Friends remind you.
Amid the euphoria of aging graciously, as we meet life’s challenges we may find ourselves feeling vulnerable. And that is OK, allowing that vulnerability to show (we don’t need to prove ourselves) makes us softer, wiser and more authentic.
As a woman matures, she does not lose her beauty she simply transfers it from her face to her heart. Friendships reflect that.
Women are fantastic at sharing and connecting. Friendships create an irresistible link between you that is a delight to see and experience. We celebrate together when we have glorious adventures and commiserate when we have fabulously failed. They listen to me, they make my heart sing and their being present to me is part of the magic and miracle of friendships.
If this post touches your heart and you would like to know more or stay in contact, here are some ways that you can do that.:
- Follow my Facebook pages https://www.facebook.com/hearthealingafterabuse/ https://www.facebook.com/YourVoiceMattersTVwithDIRiddell/
2. I invite you to share this blog with your community or someone you know it can help.
3. Purchase my book Speak Out – suppression to expression in 9 vital steps/ A practical guidebook to making your voice matter
Kindle e-book version https://www.amazon.com.au/Speak-Out-suppressed-expressed-vital-ebook/dp/B0825GPD4V/