Last week was a tough one for all of us to swallow! People that we may have perceived as having it all took their own lives. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were the crème de la crème!!! They both were the best in their perspective industries. But, that was not enough. Money, prestige, fame and it still did not fill them. People need more than material items to make them feel whole. In my opinion they need love, attention and real friendship.
Today there is so much noise in the world. Social media and the news never stop. Twitter, CNN, Facebook, Fox News, and my list can go on and on… does it ever stop? NO! It doesn’t. 24/7/365 the chatter never stops. Does all that noise mean anything? Does a click of the mouse over the Like sign really mean anything? Is having a certain number of followers or friends on a computer screen the same as having a relationship with a friend? I think not!
I have followers and friends on Facebook, but the real friendships I have with a handful of friends that I have had for decades trump everything. In fact, my friends that I love mean more than anything to me; they are my family that I chose. They are the people that I call when I am feeling sad or lonely or even if I just want to say hi. My friends are the ones that I want to call when anything exciting or sad happens in my life. These friends did not come easily; I work on my friendships. It is actually kind of crazy that I have had my closest friends for decades…through high school, college, marriages, children, parents passing away, our own divorces, through it all!
A wise therapist that I attempted once saw asked me, “Don’t you have a friend? Someone that you can talk to?”. I sat and thought to myself, yes I do!!!! I left that brilliant woman’s office, jumped in my car and called one of my closest friends and told her what the therapist said. She laughed and said, “Smart lady”. I am not saying that therapists aren’t important. Some people can really benefit from seeing someone but for me I am blessed beyond words because I do have a friend that I can call and tell everything too. ! The good, the bad and the ugly! They will listen and maybe have words of advice; but they will laugh with me, cry with me and be there no matter what. They do not judge…
Where do you find these friends? God puts people in our paths daily. You can’t walk into a store without running into a real human being. My first reaction when I run into people is I say, “Hi!”. Now living on the East Coast is a little different than being in St. Louis or the Midwest but people generally respond with a “hi!” back. Some will ignore me and that’s ok, but addressing fellow humans is how I was raised. Say hello be friendly. I am a firm believer in including people rather than excluding. We need each other! No computer screen is going to give you the warm feeling that you get when a complete stranger smiles at you.
So you meet a stranger, say, “Hi!”, and if you start a conversation and realize that you have some things in common it isn’t that crazy to ask if they want to grab a cup of coffee, or go for a walk. Nothing huge or momentous. Having someone to talk to is really important and having someone to tell your feelings to is even more important. People pay to have therapists and life coaches to listen to them, but what if you could find the same wisdom and advice from a friend? I have been lucky in that way.
Being able to tell someone all of my crazy, deep, dark secrets has helped me to have a happy and prosperous life. The freedom one receives from letting all the dark stuff go is beyond what I can describe.
Money can’t buy real friendship! Having an open heart and mind is where friendships begin. Being able to get off of the electronic devices and just be with another person and talk is the BEST!
Reach out, be willing to be vulnerable and listen. Love and kindness is all we need.