A friend is someone you share the path with. -African Proverb
I am writing this reflection in celebration of friendship! During the last two weeks I have taken a couple of mini-vacations with some of the people who personify the energy of friendship in my life. Last week I had an oceanfront getaway with my husband, and then I went on a desert retreat with a group of women with whom I share a spiritual sisterhood. In between I went on a long walk/hike with a close girlfriend at a park with hills and a stream and a waterfall. I have been reflecting recently on the evolution of my relationships with my sons. As they have become adults, the energy of friendship with each of them has been developing more and more strongly. There is also an energy of friendship that I can often feel in relationships with other family members, mentors, close colleagues, former students, and more. The paths I have been blessed and honored to share in these relationships have enriched my life beyond measure.
There are many African proverbs about friendship that attest to how important it is. The significance of friendship in our lives cannot be understated and wisdom guides us to nurture and treasure friendship. The energy of genuine friendship is the core of so many different types of relationships. It is the base from which many of our most powerful and meaningful relationships are formed, or it can evolve from other beginnings. Authentic friendship provides the foundation for each relationship to continue to grow in unique and amazing ways. That it expresses itself differently in each and every relationship is part of the magic of friendship. From soul-level connections to lifetime relationships to powerful connections that are in our lives only for a season, friendship sustains us, challenges us, holds a mirror up, and helps us grow to become better people.
Let’s pause and just take a moment to be in gratitude for the energy of friendship. I encourage you to reflect on how friendship shows up in your life. How do you express the energy of friendship? What life paths have you shared with friends? In what ways can you cultivate, enhance, and strengthen the energy of friendship in your relationships?
With Peace, Love, and Soulfulness,
Dr. Shelly Harrell