Friendship in The Time of COVID
NONE OF THIS is easy. At all. Period. Living (let's rename it as "surviving", for those enough fortunate enough to be...) with the constant stress and distress of the innumerable and over-whelming crises that we are forced to live with, and to adhere to multiple and necessary (!) safety restrictions which most of us, do, 24/7, creates an internal crisis in addition top the chaos and unknowns that surround us.
When we are fortunate - blessed - enough to find something or someone to steady us during this time, she/he/it/them become a lifeline, a conduit, and a channel, to a greater level of security and stability. Quite by our human design, many if not most of us are graced by one element of our lives that provides these qualities and a lot more, and they are anywhere and everywhere. In fact, they may be so omnipresent the we may take them for granted, assuming they are always "there" for us, ready to support, energize, empathize, play, work, and dream with us. And, much to their credit - and ours - they almost always are...
What are these?
They are our friends.
They have chosen us, and we have selected them. All by choice, all through our own volition. The rules that exist between friends are theirs, and ours - they are co-created.
In challenging times, during periods of emotional and physical overwhelm, friends serve
as a calming balm for one another in that they are able to focus on our very human needs, wants, desires, frustrations, hurts, pain, and suffering - among others.
If we take our friends for granted, there is a tendency to overlook, even minimize, their spectacular roles in our individual lives - from both sides. Acute stress decreases our capabilities to appreciate the gifts that surround us. With all the types of "Appreciation
Days" that popular our annual calendars (I'm thinking of Mother's Day, Father's Day, Grandparent's Day, Boss's Day, Secretaries Day, and many more) ~ what about adding perhaps the biggest of all: An International Day of Friendship?
But, beyond going so grand, what if each of us - friends to others, with others as our friends - simply took a few moments each day to appreciate one or more of them either through internal acknowledgement or through an interpersonal act of reaching out to express our gratitude? Consider the immediate and long-term implications of doing so ONE minute per day...what do YOU come up with? The list is too long to consider in this space, but worth considering nevertheless...one minute that can change your entire day --- and theirs!
This is never more so important than during this seemingly never-ending pandemic. Life is hard enough on all of us, in too many ways. What about lightening it for yourself and one other person - a good, dear, friend - on a daily basis?