My thoughts on friendship these days have revolved around how to maximize closeness without being close. How do we support each other without actually being THERE for each other? How do we show up for one another when we can't hop in the car and meet up for a walk, or a hug, or a dinner date?
It takes effort. Friendship always should take some effort, but during these hard and uncertain times it takes more. It just does.
Friendship during a pandemic is new for all of us AND it's more important than ever. Friendships are the touchstone of life. They ground, encourage, and propel us. Friendships keep us accountable and take us out of ourselves...if only for a little while.
What does being a friend look like right now? It may be different for everyone but for me, it's zoom. It's FaceTime, Marco Polo, actual phone conversations (WITH screaming kids in the background), and sitting in my front yard- six feet apart- talking and venting and being with each other.
I have had the beauty of trials in my life- hard, painful, heart wrenching trials. The crises in my life have given me the gift of understanding the "village" and feeling that village love me and my family well. This extended trial that we're collectively going through is a call to action for relationships. Are you willing to put in the work? Are you willing to make the effort? Are your friendships going to be strengthened, galvanized, and woven into your heart because of the effort made when things were complicated? Or do you drift, only to come away from this time looking up and realizing that you are far apart from relationships that were once important?
Loving people well is the greatest lesson we can learn. Loving your friends well; it looks like EFFORT.
Here is a simple list of questions, that when asked can be profound for anyone on the receiving end.
* How are you doing PHYSICALLY
*How are you doing EMOTIONALLY
*How are you doing SPIRITUALLY
I challenge you, my friends... make an effort. Ask these questions to those closest to you. Let them open up and in turn, so will you. Make the effort.
Calmly rage on.