It is a necessity, an essential need of the living soul.
“It is such a privilege to have people who continue each day to bless us with their love and prayer. These inner friends of the heart confer on us inestimable gifts. In these times of greed and externality, there is such unusual beauty in having friends who practice profound faithfulness to us, praying for us each day without our ever knowing or remembering it. There are often lonesome frontiers we could never endure or cross without the inner sheltering of these friends. It is hard to live a true life that endeavors to be faithful to its own calling and not become haunted by the ghosts of negativity, therefore, it is not a luxury to have such friends; it is necessary.”
I am far too tired to write a lengthy discourse on friendship, and frankly, I don’t need to. Friendship is not something you describe, but experience, and draw strength from. It sustains, nurtures, and sheds light in the darkest of moments.
There is a recurring topic that surfaces during my psychotherapy that keep my body, mind, and soul busy: my inability to be weak. I was raised by strong women and from Day 1 it was inculcated in me that weakness and mediocrity have no place in my life. Because of my physical defects (harelip and cleft palate that required so many operations the first 15 years of my life), my parents insisted that I fight harder than others and excel academically. I lived with the taunting and snide remarks, never destined to be one to impress anyone with my looks, other than becoming yet another medical case study, so I was going to have to impress them with my brains. As a result, I can’t look at myself in the mirror for more than five minutes, or never feel worthy of a photograph, except maybe for my High School and college yearbooks. On the other hand, someone once told me, at least I could never be accused of being someone’s trophy wife, chosen to be somebody’s external accessory just for the looks and good figure.
I have fought all my life to be a strong woman, to be come a woman of substance, convincing myself that mistakes are intolerable, weakness and wrong decisions are tantamount to failure. But tonight I was told to give myself and my daughter the gift of weakness, allow myself to admit that I am exhausted, spread out too thin, running out of patience.
It is OK to fall apart, knowing that the true friends in my life will sustain me, catch the broken pieces, and help put myself back together again. I have a safe harbour to run to during the storm.