I Have the Most Beautiful Friends in the World
I have the most beautiful friends in the world.
Most of them aren’t models or movie stars, although some of them certainly could be. They are all ages, all shapes, all backgrounds. In fact, they don’t necessarily have much in common, except for the fact that I think they’re amazingly special and feel so grateful to have them as a part of the story that is my life.
My friends are people who make you smile just by walking into the room, because you know that the fact they are there means you’re going to have a good time. There are gifted huggers, infectious laughers, and genius chefs among them. There are those who manage – despite heartbreak beyond anything I can imagine – to keep moving forward, without bitterness, mothering their children and showing what it really means to be strong. There are those who face challenges and disappointments of their own, but never forget to ask how someone else is doing, or offer up an encouraging word. There are those who are so lovely on the outside that it would be easy to be one of those who use that beauty against others, but instead they embrace others and open their hearts bravely, even when it hurts.
My friends are artists and mothers and teachers and fathers and healers and children and protectors. They are the women who you don’t have to ask to watch one of your children, as you chase your other child across the park; because you know they love them as they do their own and that sort of care is unspoken. They are the people you call when you hear words like “it’s cancer” or “he’s gone” because you know that they will drop everything to talk and to listen and to find the beauty in the middle of the sorrow.
They are those who I was lucky enough to meet at some point in this journey – whether it was a result of being born into the same family or during the awkward years of middle school or when I became a mother –who have changed the course of my life. They are also those whom I’ve never met in person; our relationships spanning the wires and signals and experiences that connect us across states and countries.
My friends have made me a better person. And even if the ways they fit into my life have changed, even if the daily phone calls or nights spent talking for hours have become infrequent comments on Facebook, I still see their value every day. They remind me that the world is a place filled with beauty. Beauty that comes from the inside, and builds up others and reminds them that they belong, that they have a space and a home in the hearts of others.
When I worry that the world is a scary place, with bullies and critics and those who only know how to make themselves feel good by degrading others, and I’m afraid for the sensitive souls of my children, I am comforted by thinking of the beauty of my friends. A beauty that they, themselves, may not always see since so much of what we value is based on appearances. A beauty that is deeper than how they look today – whether that means extra pounds or washboard abs or dirty sweatpants or no makeup or perfect hair. A beauty that comes from who they are on the inside, which shines out for the world to see in the way that they treat people, and in the way that they lift others up instead of pushing them down.
I’m so grateful to have the most beautiful friends in the world. You know who you are – and yes, I am talking to you.
Do you have the most beautiful friends in the world, too? Don’t forget to tell them. And I'd love to hear from you about what makes them beautiful!