Be the friend you need

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On a chilly Tuesday morning, I sat in a room with roughly 50 other women. As a song softly played, we each wrote down on a piece of paper something we wish our friends knew about us. Moments later, the papers were anonymously read.

“I wish my friends knew I’m lonely.”

“I wish my friends knew I’m lonely in my marriage.”

“I wish I had more friendships….”

“I often feel like people can’t relate to me.”

On and on the papers were read and it was quickly becoming apparent that loneliness is something A LOT of women are experiencing. As the words rang out in that silent room, my mind raced with sadness for all these beautiful, amazing, talented, LONELY women.

As a person who has cried herself to sleep many nights because of loneliness, I knew by personal experience what these women were feeling. Feeling alone is one of the very worst feelings in the world. It’s toxic and it’s a known fact that people who have happy relationships tend to be healthier and live longer.

Loneliness doesn’t ache my heart like it used to, but it took years and years of practice and intentionality to be where I am now.  Although my relationships aren’t perfect, I do have one really important piece of advice. For me, this action step is everything.

Be the friend you need.

Be the one who picks up the phone. Be the one who delivers flowers and coffee. Be the gal who plans things and invites everyone. For a day, pretend you’re outgoing. And the next day, wake up and pretend again and again, until smiles and genuine friendliness become a way of life. Look at each person, knowing in your heart just how dang important she is. Talk to people, knowing everyone has an important story and seek to be a person who learns from everyone.

The world needs YOU to be the friend YOU need. Need someone to call? Be the caller. Need someone to plan something? Be the planner.

Be gutsy. Be the one who goes first. You never know who’s life you’ll change.