There’s no doubt about it. A friendship can be one of the most rewarding and valuable relationships. To feel totally comfortable and at ease with a friend is like being home. Feeling her support, knowing you can count on her to listen, understand, and make you laugh are the marks of sisterhood. That kind of connection is a special gift our spirits get to give and receive throughout our lifetime. And, as with any gift, it’s always important to show gratitude.
I’ve been developing friendships for almost four decades now. When I think about what makes my life so rich, not one material possession comes to mind. The only things I think about are all the people I consider important to me and the quality of our connection. I even sit in wonder over how I got to be so lucky to have these relationships.
One of the best birthdays I ever had was a dinner where I invited all the important women in my life to join me. No boys were allowed! Of course not all the ladies I invited could be there but I had about 30 girlfriends that evening. Some I had known for over ten years. Some I had only known for a few months. What was so special about that birthday celebration was not only having all these amazing women in one place at the same time but the way they stood for friendship and honored it.
Before dinner, we gathered in a circle and each woman introduced herself to the group since there were many meeting one another for the first time. Additionally, each woman organically said what they appreciated about our friendship or described a quality they admired in me. Hearing those positive and endearing sentiments made my heart feel like it was going to burst wide open. What was even more incredible was recognizing that all those wonderful traits and descriptions each woman was attributing to me, were things I would also say to describe and honor her.
You may have heard the expression, “We can only see things within others that we see within ourselves.” I very much believe this to be true. Attracting and recognizing qualities in others is a great way to get clarity on who we are as individuals. When you start paying attention and looking at your friendships through this lens, not only will you see the positive aspects but you’ll also see the negative ones. In other words, you can get the full picture. If you’re open to receiving this kind of feedback, it’s a great way to learn about yourself and grow.
Of course that birthday party was out-of-this-world super special. The cool thing is, giving and receiving this reflection is available all the time. We don’t have to wait for those celebratory moments to honor one another. As such, I’d invite you to share with your girlfriend what you find so special about her. Let her know how much you appreciate her best qualities and how her friendship has helped you grow. The hidden treasure in that act of gratitude is knowing that the bright light you see inside of her, is also glowing inside of you.