The funeral starts in 12 hours. We’re tired, we’ve just driven five hours to reach her, and she’s not home.
We carve the screen on her window to pieces, slip into the house, and pass out on her bed until she gets home the next morning.
In the days before cell phones, my friend Dawn wasn’t easy to reach. She flitters, she flies. She’s a freaking butterfly.
So Doey and I ended up breaking into her house in Syracuse on the night before her Grandma’s funeral. To be there for her, even though she didn’t ask for our presence.
It’s what friends do.
They make time. They show up when it counts. They don’t count the cost or keep tabs.
You jump, I jump.
You got it. I’m there.
When grown-ups talk about the world of friendship, they seem fairly bitter. She didn’t…he didn’t…that bitch…ugh…I just…I just feel so alone.
In my experience, friendship is a sacred contract that says, again and again, “I see you. I hear you. I’m here.”
It’s not about how many coffees you grab together or even how frequently you talk. It’s not about whether you’ve exchanged BFF necklaces or can wear one another’s clothing.
It’s about the depths you reach when you’re together.
What are you willing to reveal about yourself in the other’s company?
Are you willing to say anything? Even the painful, uncomfortable, awkward, or hazardous things?
Are you willing to go there?
The more open you are, the closer you’ll be and the longer the friendship will flourish.
It isn’t about the time you put in, but about the emotions you put in during that time.
So, if you’re having trouble keeping friends or making friends or connecting in general, ask yourself where you’re keeping people out.
Where is your heart hard? Where are you like, no way, not going there? That’s exactly the place a friend can help. And heal.
Friendship allows for the healing.
Friends in business are even better, because they know the fear that washes over you when your bank account is low or your last marketing promotion failed (this article might help fix that) or you feel like giving up and going to work at Starbucks. (A common fantasy.)
Let people in. Let them matter to you, let them help you.
If you’d like my help with your business, get yourself a copy of Go Your Own Way: free yourself from business as usual. I’ve put together five years’ worth of teachings and over 60,000 words to help you get where you want to go with your creative work. But like any friend, I’ll ask that you go there. I’ll ask that you let me in, let me ask you the questions you’d rather not answer. I’ll ask that you tell the whole truth about your business, and in the process we could change everything.
You ready? Get your free copy here. (I solemnly swear to leave your window screens untouched.)