Why I’m Grateful for Friendships

Join us today as we reflect on Andrea’s timeless blog Why I’m Grateful for Friendships. Will you be spending time with friends this Labor Day weekend?

Andrea with her ‘sister’ Whisper on the beach in Cambria, CA – 2017

by Andrea Chilcote

I’m fortunate to own a business that allows me to work with clients over long periods of time, on projects of mutual interest. As a result, I forge meaningful and long-term relationships that often morph into genuine friendships. These friendships and others are the source of much of the joy and meaning in my life.

I Googled “why we need friends” and was surprised by the volume of research on the topic. I learned about everything from the fifteen reasons we need friends to five common female friend types.

None of the research surprised me, and as I consider the many benefits of friendship, I realize it’s not necessary to list them here. You know the power and the value. Patricia Levy, the author of the latter post on common friend types, stated “There is a one question test to gauge whether a friendship is healthy: Does she bring out the best in me?”

Yes. She’s talking about that extra boost that helps us see who we really are and what we are capable of – the boost that provides the tiny spark to help us be our best.

As I reflect on a busy week, I’m feeling grateful for my friends who believe in what I have to offer and demonstrate it. I’m grateful to those who entrust me with tasks that help them fulfill commitments they’ve made. I’m motivated to be the person my friends believe I can be – because I am that person already, but my friends remind me.

Who brings out the best in you? If you need that boost I’m describing, spend some time with your friend.

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by Andrea Chilcote

The following post appeared originally on The Spirited Woman where Andrea is a weekly blogger. This summer, followers of this blog will enjoy bi-weekly archived posts that have appeared on The Spirited Woman but never before on this site. 

Every now and then, things just fall into place. It starts with some initial incident (large or seemingly insignificant), a sequence of events ensues, and before you know it I am looking back, saying “Thank heavens that worked out.” Or, more often lately, I just smile at what appears to be an everyday miracle.

Those of us (that’s me and some of you) who have lived life as if it was a challenge to be reckoned with, find “ease” a bit odd. And, the drivers in the recesses of our psyches that cause us to seek that which is difficult or even impossible scream for attention.

Ignore them. They know not the damage they might cause.

Yesterday I met with a friend who, like me, tends to be compelled to take on the most challenging endeavors. In part, it’s an effort to feel acknowledged for having accomplished enough. In this situation, my friend was presented with one of those everyday miracles as an option alongside another difficult choice. Should she choose the heavy yet attractive option, her very future lay in the balance. She could gamble and win, though the odds were against that. Or she could choose the more peaceful and balanced opportunity.

Looking at this with a sort of distanced perspective (as much as I can distance myself from something I relate to so well), I can see that following one’s heart is the prevailing principle. Those gnawing messages that cause us to pause and stop the refrain of over-analysis deserve attention.

Apparent miracles beget others – if we acknowledge them. I’m choosing ease, and I’ll let you know what happens next.