I just spent a weekend with about forty of my closest friends.
It’s typically women who say that. And it’s often a planned event that has women coming together for a common goal. Like a retreat. A time of bonding and sharing and encouraging.
Women rarely need an event to bond. If you bring food and provide a time to talk, you get bonding. I think it’s a chemical formula. If you throw in a chick flick and nail polish, the success factor goes exponential.
We had all of that in spades. Plus a free afternoon to partake of the local shopping, theme parks, swimming or just plain talking.
Viewed in this light, women sound pretty easy. It doesn’t take rocket science to understand what we enjoy. You can gather task forces, do studies, compile data till you’re blue in the face and you’ll get the same thing.
Women just want to have fun. Together. There are different degrees to which we enjoy togetherness. Some like a little; others like a lot. But we definitely have a knack for connecting with one another. (You know the whole “can’t go to the bathroom alone” thing? It’s part of our DNA. Women alone in bathrooms don’t dawdle. Women together in bathrooms have been known to solve world issues just putting on lipstick at the mirror.)
The women with me these past few days have come from a wide variety of backgrounds and places. Their individual stories represent the breadth of human experience. Some were single, some married. Some had children, some didn’t. What was the same across the board was the willingness to be together to further relationships. To know and be known.
Is that a challenge? Darn tootin’. There are so many times in life when it’s easier just to hide. To not invest the emotional energy or time it takes to really know others. To hydroplane in relationships, skimming across the surface, without working at going deep because it’s so risky.
What’s the benefit? Having people in your life who won’t be shocked by which “you” shows up. I have folks in my life who appreciate nice Dayle. The one who thinks of others or says a kind word. But there are a lot of days when bad Dayle shows up. (I’d like to call her my evil twin, but I have a twin. And she’s nice. So no confusion.) But I need safe people in my life when bad Dayle is around who won’t walk away from me. Who will stay by my side and wait for nice Dayle to come back.
Jesus knew that friendship costs. He let twelve men into His life, allowing them to know Him even though they didn’t fully get Him. He loved them fully. Even knowing they’d disappoint Him.
“This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.” John 15:13
We all need friends. Women often get that more easily. Maybe we’re more available to invest the time. Maybe it’s our naturally nurturing natures.
Whatever it takes, friendship is worth the effort. It’s worth the cost to me.
It’s even sweeter if you throw in some good chocolate with that conversation.
First photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.com.
Second photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk.