22 February 2010

Lady Friends - The Best Therapy

Lady friends are the perfect antidote to frustration, exhaustion, hopelessness, sadness, fear, boredom, sense of humor loss and so many other ailments. There's nothing better than a girlfriend to remind you to laugh, to help you see your way through rough times including lost jobs, lost loves, lost dreams and lost vision. They can be great listening ears, advisors on big decisions, and arms to lean on in lean days.

They introduce you to new people, new thoughts and new stores. They'll introduce you to the massage therapist, nail technician, stylist and their husbands eligible bachelor friends. The best blessing I've received from my girlfriends, many who've given me some pretty great gifts, is their understanding. They've been down my path or I've been down the path their on first. They know how it feels and just knowing that is enough to get me back on the right vibe when it feels as if things have gone astray.

I remember that they often feel the same way, they've been through similar lessons, and suffered similar frustrations and it brings me comfort. I know that they will cry with me if everything falls apart under my feet. But I know they believe it will work out for me, that good things are coming and that I can handle what life dishes out.

As life gets busier, they understand how things change. They realize you have a husband, kids, work and other things that may not allow you to play together as much as you one did. They're busier too and you all feel blessed to steal away a few minutes every few months to see each other in peace and quiet. They understand if you're children start a small war while you are trying to talk on the phone and have to cut it short. They are not offended, they know the situation well.

They understand that you don't always love your life, your work and responsibilities and obligations, but that they are yours and mean a great deal to you. They know you sometimes lose your cool with your kids, that you and your husband occasionally infuriate each other, and that in all your relationship's own unique weirdness it's perfect for you. They understand when you have a big house or tiny apartment, a very handsome or less sophisticated husband, easy kids or challenged kids that money and prestige don't matter and that everyone is blessed with different blessings and challenges. They watch you grow, they cheer you on and wish you well.

I have a great group of girlfriends from when I first moved to Los Angeles to attend grad school many years ago. They are living in many parts of the country now. Some have happy marriages, some have stepchildren and all the blessings and challenges that presents, some have husbands who can be challenging, some are single and must focus great effort on keeping financially stable, some live far from family, some have had to leave everything familiar to them and move to follow their husbands careers in far off places. But through all the winding paths we've all taken, it's such a gift to be able to speak honestly and openly in a safe and supportive environment. I have mourned with them, cried with them, and best of all laughed with them. They are a gift and amazing blessing to my life.

I connected with an old friend today and hearing about her life gave me peace about my life. I replied to an email from another dear friend who has a child in great jeopardy right now. I called another girlfriend and said, "Help! I need Lady Time! When can we see each other?" I mourned again today the loss of my dear friend who passed away in January. I would've called her today and said, "Help! You gotta help me figure out these big decisions I have to make right now."

We would've gone to dinner this week, gotten caught up, I would have asked her opinion on things I can't yet figure out for myself. She would know what to say. I would feel better. Not having her here reminds me again to appreciate what I do have, or better said WHO I do have. And for that I am grateful. My girlfriends are what keep me even-keeled, hopeful and laughing. I am so grateful for them and how much it's saved me on therapy over the years! Thank you Lady Friends!

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