At the end of the 90’s, I was struggling. My marriage was failing, I felt lost and I was tremendously lonely in my circumstances. Oddly enough, my ex-husband whispered, to an acquaintance, that he felt I needed a friend. And I did. This young woman walked through my office door, sat down -friendly and welcoming. She was full of compassion, and genuine warmth. That day, she extended an invitation and I accepted. We became friends.
I didn’t know much about friendship. Most of my life I had never lived in one place long enough to develop anything long or lasting. I envied other kids who had known each other since the first year they began attending school. I had much to learn.
I had no freedom of expression. I rarely shared deep emotions. I maintained a consistent protective distance. All the while longing for the very thing I was pushing away. I possessed no self-esteem or confidence or sense of identity even though I worked diligently to produce a well put together exterior to hide that fact.
Once my marriage began failing, often people would tell me that they thought I had it all together and lived a perfect life. That’s the problem with the perfectionist tendencies that consumed my life…they caused me to create a false reality -a facade – to hide away the mess that was on the inside. I was great at hiding. I desperately wanted to be invisible as if that would prevent the pain or ease it in some way. But it didn’t. It never did. In fact, I had an appetite for good things in life: laughter, joy, sunshine, celebration, and happiness.
Instead I was like a wounded puppy afraid of everything I desired.
My new friend was thoughtful and sincere. she possessed a curiosity that seemed to drive her to explore new things. I found warmth of heart. I think at the beginning of our relationship she was more like a mentor. Although I didn’t want to be a project or someone for her to help, I was. She began to teach me how to live a full life out of Wisdom. We spent hours praying and searching for practical ways to live a healthy, vibrant life from the best source of Wisdom I had ever found.
She encouraged me to change the way I thought about life and living in a non-constricting way that was freeing to my spirit, body and mind; relieving repressions.
Wisdom stimulated my creativity, ambition, and drive. Enthusiasm for life began to fill my heart. I found a willingness to embrace new ideas with enjoyment and a sense of exploration and creative play.
The more that wholeness and well-being began to take place, the more our relationship changed and deepened from mentorship to friendship. We became peers. We challenged each other to be better versions of ourselves. We disagreed at times. We applied forgiveness when necessary. We supported and encouraged each other. And then I moved to New Zealand, some 10,000 kms away. It was a huge adjustment for both of us.
I miss her in my day to day living. Now, we meet across the miles via technology, sip coffee together, and share our hearts in a different way than when we began.
This little figurine sits on my dresser reminding me: I don’t feel like a lost puppy anymore and I am blessed with the miracle of friendship.