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  • Writer's pictureJules

Friendship by the Sea

28 - Jan 2022

Yesterday I began to write about the importance of friendship. About connecting with friends when you most need support. About how that can be difficult when you are feeling vulnerable. Down, depressed, low, desperate - whatever you name it. That feeling of not wanting to ‘expose’ friends to your mood. Not wanting to ‘infect’ the atmosphere with moroseness. Make sense?

Name not blame

I talked about dealing with your feelings. Facing them. naming them. Out loud helps. Your feelings are not you. They are visitors. They are present temporarily.

”Loneliness is here,” is more true than “I am a lonely person”. Writing about how you feel may help. That is one way. There are many others. Everyone needs their own unique recipe.

When you have found what helps you - and let me say right here, that after trying to find my way by myself for several years, the profound change in my life only began when I attended an Inner Peace Retreat in the winter of 2018. From there, I actively sought activities to attend. A day at a writing workshop in London. A mindfulness based stress reduction 8 week course. And more.

When you feel you must hide your true self - when you can’t be yourself you find it hard to be with your friends

When you have practiced facing your feelings and expressing them without judgement, with self-compassion you can face your friends with authenticity. You can be the real you.

That was my experience yesterday. I spent the morning with a wonderful friend. We talked about many things, menopause and mental health. Careers and children. Pets and gardening. Also, how the pandemic has altered friendships and how that seems to be permanent. We talked about anything and everything and it was - just real. Moments of poignancy and moments of joy. Isn’t this how it should be with friends?

A breath of fresh air

We strolled along the seafront alongside breathtaking skies and brightly coloured beach huts. We felt grateful for our good health and our families. We ate lunch and drank coffee.

As I sit and write this, I lament our busy world. How busyness is destroying a natural, healthy way of life. If you commute to work how long does that take? Yet we will do that day after day after day. Why is visiting friends that live that same commute away so difficult? It doesn’t make sense. And yet we all make excuses. We all prioritise everything above the simple act of getting together.

This year should be a year of friendship, don’t you think?

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