soul food + friendship

Body: 

Lessons learned from those we’ve loved.

I don’t think I got “it” until the age of forty. I was schooled in the belief that a great friend is someone who shoulders your weaknesses and plays to your strengths.  

The curriculum: Compliments of my Grandmother, born Catherine Veronica Arnold, affectionately known as “Grammie Caye”. Toward the end of her life I became her understudy. She possessed an inner beauty that transcended the physical; a characteristic you rarely find in youth.  Over time and within the confines of life like my dear friends, she exuded graceful wisdom; a loveliness from the inside out.

Grammie Caye not only showed me what it was to cultivate and sustain friendships but more importantly, what it takes to be considered a lifelong friend that will not be long forgotten. She taught me the importance of inner resolve and emotional aptitude; the ability of carrying yourself and others simultaneously, being both a conduit and the glue.

As a friend in my twenties, I was pretty lackadaisical.  I had this notion that I was the type of girl that preferred male friendships because to me, they felt less petty and unencumbered. Truthfully, I didn’t have the focus or depth for much more. Not to say I was a “bad” friend, I just had other priorities like finding and keeping “Mr. Right”.  I lacked the chops to balance both a love relationship and deep emotional friendships with women.

What I’ve gleaned on friendship: (In no particular order).

The quality of your friendships, are a direct reflection of you and the effort you put into them – a simple concept to grasp. Having amazing friends raises the bar, creating opportunity to be the best you can be.

Your friends are sound bites of your alter egos, so to speak.  When you’re thinking they’re slightly “off”, do a quick self-check in the mirror.    

It’s about give and take. Friendships allow for the practice of healthy co-nurturing. This can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, find what works for you.

Change is constant. Like you, friendships can reinvent themselves. Friendships that grow synchronistically will stand the test of time.

A basic warm-up suit is always a “smart” choice when well accessorized + ladies, don’t forget your lipstick :) … totally unrelated (a fashion tip from Caye). 

When life is tough-going, a good friend offers soft shoulders. They don’t try to fix things; they can diplomatically juggle the ability to listen without judging and understand the value of honesty from a loving place. 

Best friends are intuitive: they “show up” in both the good times and the sucky times. They have the inherent skill-set to know exactly what you need.

A good friend is totally vested; they’re happy for your good fortune and accomplishments.

Friends are your board of trustees, they will keep your interests safe and to heart.

Our friends are our nourishment. Super-powered life sustaining soul food, the loves of our lives.