I recently shared about the importance of friendship as adults. I wanted to take the opportunity to break it down even further.
I think sometimes, we feel the need to be an island. Especially us women. We are woman, hear us roar… after all. Also, it can get difficult to connect when we hear so many conflicting messages all around & want desperately to find those that fit our own values. Messages like:
“We need to be living more naturally. I only eat vegan. I only use cruelty free products…” – Ok, I’m all about cruelty free. I use essential oils, but I also take medicine when needed & I totally eat chicken, turkey, and the occasional burger, so…
“Modern medicine is here for a reason. All that crunchy stuff doesn’t mean anything. There are new articles every week about “what’s trending”. Just accept progress…” – Ok, but God gave us natural substances for a reason…and plastic is literally killing us…
“I lost all the baby fat within days” or “Fitness & gym is life, there’s nothing better. Your food has to be 100% clean. If not, you’re showing your body harm. This actually shows more love for yourself…” – Ok, but I exercise. But, also, I eat what I feel like. Am I bigger? Maybe, but I’m also healthy – according to every doctor I’ve ever been to. And I’m actually mentally happier not trying to kill myself. Plus, my husband thinks I’m sexy, so…
“Loving yourself means loving yourself just as you are. No need to change. Those statistics mean nothing. We have to love our bodies, accepting ourselves just as we are. There’s no other way…” – Ok, but I love working out, and I actually enjoy the salads & smoothies I eat. Have you ever had berries and cream? Like, I can treat my body well, watching the weight fall, and still be loving and accepting of myself. And, I’m happier now…
AND DON’T GET ME STARTED ON WHAT WE SAY TO ONE ANOTHER ONCE WE BECOME MOMS!
I know, these are all extreme examples, but you get my drift. And, in each of these extreme examples, on both sides, there is a little bit of me. So many things can be polarizing, and it can be hard to find others that share our values. But, not impossible, if we are living authentic to our true selves.
My tribe is actually made of people in all of these areas of extremes. Why? Because, there is a piece of me in all of these ideals. And, your tribe shares your ideals.
If you fall into any of these extremes, let me say: You are NOT wrong…and, I love you!
Do I need to say it louder for those in the back?
We are all doing our best in this life. It’s about living authentically to our values, and connecting with others who share those values.
But, finding your tribe is imperative for living a full, well, and value filled life. And, I’ve compiled a list of 7 reasons that is the case…
- We are actually created for others. Biblically speaking, we can’t get away from it. When Adam was alone in the garden, it was not good. He had God all to himself, but something was missing. Let that sink in: he walked with God daily & knew him, and it wasn’t enough. Why? Because God is a communal God (Father, Son, Spirit). There are aspects of God’s character we cannot know or understand if we are alone. From the beginning, no person was meant to walk alone. And, in Proverbs 17:17, we get a glimpse of why:
- Illness grows in the darkness of isolation. There has been study after study letting us know the importance of connection for our health. Isolation raises stress levels, which leads to more inflammation, more disease, and more mental wellness issues. Our mental wellness cannot be cared for in isolation, but rather grows. Healing comes with connection. Studies show people with good relationships and strong friendships are: happier, live longer, and are over all healthier. Think of it as a natural health tonic.
- Follow up: psychology shows human connection is essential for growth and development. There are several case studies of what neglect does to infants and children, but we are also figuring out adults need contact, too. Let’s tie this to our first two points: we were created for others (and others for us, and wellness depends on connection). Authentic friendships are essential for our own growth and development. Real friends teach us, they challenge us, they introduce new ideas to us. Real friends love us when we are different, allow us to feel a full spectrum of human emotion, and give us space to become who we are to become. This is how adults grow & develop.
- We thrive when we have support. Just as infants need connection to thrive, so do we. When we have a support system, we see all the benefits listed above. We can learn & grow. We can fail safely. We can find our healthiest selves. We can find ways out of the darkness. Our support systems can provide food/shelter in a hard time, emotional support in a period of need, provide laughs and fun and entertainment. Friendship, when it’s authentic, offers so much more than a movie buddy (although, who doesn’t love a movie buddy?!)
- Being able to support others benefits us, too. Have you heard the phrase “it’s better to give than to receive”? Yeah, it’s like that. Studies show that people who give are happier people. Being able to help our friends, support our friends, challenge our friends, show unconditional love to others, has a positive effect on our lives. And, it’s not just resources. It’s knowing we were able to give our time, our listening ear, advice, a movie night. It’s knowing we are giving and not just taking, because we all know true friendship is not one-sided.
- Life is just better with friends. Honestly, having someone to grab that wonderful hot drink on a cold day (I’m a hot chocolate or cider girl, myself), having someone to see that new movie with, having someone to call when life feels like it’s falling apart. All of these things just make life better. Who doesn’t want this? I lived my first few months in this new city without that and I was lonely and miserable. Now that I’ve connected with other like-minded girls that I know I can hang out with, reach out to, it’s so much better. Life is just better with friends.
- And, if all of this is not enough to convince you: Even Jesus needed friends. That’s right, I’m bookending with the Bible. Old & New Testaments. In the garden, right before his death, as he wrestled with what was going on his shoulders, even Jesus surrounded himself with friends. If Jesus needs friends, I know I need friends.
There are likely so many other reasons we need friends, but as I have been thinking about this topic, these 7 really stick out to me.
As I’m entering a new phase of life, I’m realizing how important it is to keep friends from your past phases, but also to find others who are experiencing what you are going through. I’m glad for other pregnant mommas in my tribe (both first time, like me, and those who already have kids). But, in getting married and pregnant, I have not cut off my single or childless friends. I just happen to turn to other pregnant mommas a little more often, because pregnancy can be isolating.
My tribe is diverse. I don’t deny someone just because their life doesn’t match mine exactly. I value everyone in my tribe. I also let them come & go as they please. (Don’t read this as me allowing others to take advantage. I don’t hesitate to let go of toxic people.)
So, Miss (or Mrs. or Ms.), if you don’t have a tribe yet, reach out to me. I would love to be part of your tribe. I love to connect with women who are trying to make their life a life they love, their dream life, right where they are. Women who are trying to be leaders in their homes. Women who dream big & have vision. Women who feel stuck, but know they can make it happen.
I also love coming up alongside women who need support. Women who feel alone. Women who feel there’s more and just don’t know how to get there.
I’m here for you!
Now, find your tribe!