June 5, 2021

In Honor of National Best Friends Day: Gratitude to each Person who has Helped Me See Me.

National Best Friends Day honors the “one” person we call our best friend. 

It’s supposed to be a day dedicated to showing our best friends how much we appreciate them, how special they are, and how much they mean.

According to Wikipedia, “Best friends share extremely strong interpersonal ties with each other.”

The definition of a best friend, according to dictionary.com, is “A person who you value above other friends in your life, someone you have fun with, someone you trust, and someone in whom you confide.”

Someone I value above other friends? Yikes and ouch. How do we choose just “one” best friend?!

I can’t. I can’t be in integrity with my personal values by saying to someone, “I value you more than the next person.”

So in honor of best friends day, I think of some of the many beautiful friendships that have blessed my life with invaluable reflections, and I celebrate them each. 

One of my longest-time friends from elementary school is Kelly. We bickered and loved in junior high, crushed on the same boy in seventh grade, played sports together, had alcohol together for the first time, and still pick up where we left off. She reflects loving-kindness and childlike play to me.

In high school, I met my dear friend Christine. We did all of the things high school girls do: lived together in college, had a falling out in college, made up, and were there for one another’s weddings. We may have gone to jail together once (not our proudest moment, but we weren’t technically arrested—don’t judge). She reflects laughter, self-love, nurturing, and play to me.

After college, I worked on cruise ships where I met two of my lifelong friends, Gina and Rach. Gina and I were roommates, soul sisters, and attached at the hip from day one. Rach and I explored one cruise ship contract together, and even though she is in Australia and we don’t get to see one another much, I still hold our friendship so dear. Gina reflects loyalty and faith, and Rach reflects connection and integrity to me, and they both are a reflection of family unity.

Rach introduced me to one of my dearest friends, James. People always told me I couldn’t be friends with someone of the opposite sex without having romantic feelings for them. He and I prove that theory wrong—time and again. He is one of the best friends I have had, and I’m thankful we still very much love one another because he has some pretty incriminating photos of me. James is a reflection of commitment and loyalty to me.

For a short year, I lived in James’ home city of Chicago. It was then I met another dear friend, Susan. We met over vegan food and alcoholic beverages, moved through healing trauma together, and now support one another on our continued healing journeys as we evolve as spiritual practitioners. Susan reflects healing, loving energy to me.

Right before moving to Chicago, I met one of my closest friends, Caitlin. She is the most non-judgemental, balanced, level-headed person I know. She is a true friend through and through. She witnessed me transform some painful stories, observed some pretty bad decisions, watched me learn and grow, and supported me entirely with never a judgment. I had the absolute honor of marrying her and her sweet husband. Caitlin reflects acceptance and balance to me.

A couple of years after I met Caitlin, I met my sweet husband. He is my most loyal friend. Always there if he wants to be or not! He is the one person I know I can always count on, who I share everything with, take risks with, who I enjoy the fun times, good times, boring times, and ugly times. We have fought hard and made up harder. He is my rock and my absolute everyday best friend. My husband is a wonderful reflection of love, commitment, acceptance, and joy to me.

My husband is the reason I live where I do—in St. Louis. When I moved here to be with him, he was the only person I knew. It was a lonely road for a bit until I met a few friends!

First, there was Madeleine. She was my first friend in St. Louis. We met in a worldwide online digital course. She was so friendly and invited me to an event she had in her home, which happened to be only blocks away, to my surprise. I am honored to be officiating her wedding in May! Madeleine reflects belief and self-respect to me.

At Madeleine’s 40th birthday, I met Denise. Denise is my “no bullsh*t” friend who doesn’t say a lot, but her words are potent. We have processed deep life sh*t together and continue to learn and grow. She is also a consistent walking buddy, so she knows my tell-all! Denise has been a reflection that has helped me to learn to speak and put self first.

After a year or so in St. Louis, I rented this office space in a fabulous boutique full of light. Each person there was so dear to me. One, in particular, Jacqui, shared an office with me. During that time, we grew, learned together, and chatted most days. We witnessed and shared intimate details about our families, struggles, and wins. Although she moved away, we are still in touch. Jacqui reflects leaping, courage, and adventure to me.

After I met Jacqui, I met Jennifer. Oh, man—everyone needs a Jennifer in their life. She is the friend who has the best advice, warmest hugs, perfect response, and her homes are always the coziest! She has even helped us make our house a home with her impeccable design eye. She also has the best referrals for anything you can imagine because she knows and loves everyone. She is a fabulous mom, and in so many ways, her perfect words have been motherly to me. She is like an older sister. She is the best friend who makes you feel like you want to be a better friend. Jennifer has been a reflection of nurturing, self-love, connection, and care to me.

Although Sarah was one of the last people I met in St. Louis, she is someone I pretty much connect to every day. Sarah is the kind of friend anyone would feel blessed to have in their corner. She offers sincere advice, always has the perfect words to say, and helps me with everything from the best vegan recipe, a mediation technique, makeup tips, and happy hour chats! My husband refers to Sarah as my “bestie” because he knows if there is a problem he can’t help me with, I will call her. He sees me chatting it up with her on Marco Polo every day, at least once. She is a wonderful mom, lightworker, and I pretty much share everything with her. Sarah has been a reflection of healing, mothering, beauty, honesty, and trust to me.

With all of that said, there are more people I could name here. But there is a beautiful friend who I have failed to acknowledge, and I tend to forget her a lot. She is the one person I know will always be there, without a doubt, who knows every single whisper in my heart.

She has been with me through every bloodshed, tear, and butterfly flutter in my heart. Who has been my grandest cheerleader and also my biggest enemy. She has judged me more than anyone else yet has also loved me and taught me how to love me. We have been through forgiveness more times than I can count.

I want to let her formally know how much I appreciate her.

I appreciate her for putting up with my drama, my anger, and my fear as I learned emotional intelligence.

It took me a long time to be able to see her and acknowledge her.

She is me.

And to her I say…thank you. Thank you for putting up with my harsh judgment, discord, worrying mind, and thank you for being patient with me while I was finding a way to be kind to me.

I am grateful to my lifelong friends for reflecting loving-kindness to me, helping me to have a kinder relationship with me. To Kelly, Christine, Gina, Rach, James, Susan, Madeleine, Denise, Jacqui, Jen, Sarah, and my husband Mario, thank you for helping me love me.

As Marianne Williamson said, “Relationships are laboratories of the spirit. They are hospitals of the soul. They are the places where the wounds that we hold will be brought up because that’s the only way they can be healed.”

In honor of National Best Friends Day, I thank each of these people for being a reflection, helping me see me, so that I can continue to heal and be the best I can be.

Thank you. Thank you for always seeing me.

If this resonated with you, I would love to hear how your best friend has been a reflection for you in the comments. Or share on social media, and tag me with #BestFriendsDay!

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