Life is rough business. Today's fast pace can often leave us feeling adrift. No matter how we may think our life is all figured out, rarely does the result mirror our original blueprint perfectly. The modern American lifestyle instills the busier our lives the more successful and fulfilled we can become. Yet, in the midst of the chaos, friends get pushed aside with weak excuses of too busy ...not enough time...or preoccupation of material consumption. How often the responsibilities of adulthood allow the erosion our innate creativity and glee of sharing experiences with friends.“We choose our friends, and our friends choose us,” says William K. Rawlins, Stocker Professor of Communication Studies at Ohio University. “That’s a really distinctive attribute of friendships.”
A healthy life does consist of supportive friendships. Humans have the fundamental need of belonging. Though all people are not made equal on what level of love, intimacy or closeness with another they require. Our sense of purpose and value is positively enhanced with close caring relationships. As the authors of The "Need to Belong" share the words of the Baumeister and Leary, “it seems fair to conclude that human beings are fundamentally and pervasively motivated by a need to belong, that is, by a strong desire to form and maintain enduring interpersonal attachments.”
Making new friends during adulthood can be incredibly difficult creating loneliness and isolation. Perhaps you have experienced a recent job change, raised children, or transitioned to a new community. Yes, life's changes can be daunting. This recent article from Time magazine How Making Friends Can Help Combat Loneliness articulates well the importance of continuing to develop meaningful friendships.
- Reflect on the attributes of one person you consider a close meaningful friend. Let them know how much you value their friendship with an unexpected note or phone call.
- Choose a volunteer activity aligned with your passion. Invest one hour a month contributing your talents and being introduced to new individuals with similar passions.
- Become a friend to yourself with a commitment to healthy food choices, regular exercise and a meaningful spiritual practice.
There is not an age limit to infuse our lives with caring nurturing friendship. Life is big enough for both old and new friends. Let's begin today!
Be well ... Be happy ... Be healthy
Chief Encouragement Officer