This article was originally shared last year but felt it might be a good time to publish again. I had the opportunity to hear Rachel speak at our 2019 Meet Up and this year we were virtual. She's right on the money though with how much we need our friends. Especially now.
Friendship takes work.
Let’s just put that on the table to start, honestly. Because in today’s world of likes and hearts and instant kudos friendship can seem like it is this easy, effortless place to be. And yet, sweet sister, the number one email I get is from women who feel alone.
In a world of accolades.
From the outside, we ALL can seem like we have the most vibrant lives. We can artfully take pictures cutting out the corners of normal. We can curate stories that seem so polished and fade out the scars and hardship. We can opt to interact at the peaks and ignore the valleys.
It can seem effortless. Perfect, in a way.
Yet behind the scenes so many of us feel so scarily alone.
Just the other day I received an email from another mom regarding friendship. As I read it these words hit me in the heart – Social media is hard to navigate and it seems to amplify feelings of doubt and inadequacies.
How did we get to that place?
Who wants to feel worse in the quest for community?
Aren’t we meant to live life together? Isn’t that what social truly means?
But she’s so true.
She’s so incredibly true. I get it. I know how it feels to scroll through Facebook and wonder why in the world I’m alone or don’t measure up. I know how it feels to hide in the shadows for fear of the real me. I know the desperate ache for friendship.
The simplest thing and yet, especially now, the hardest thing.
So what do we do to fix it?
How do you and I break the cycle of loneliness? How do we use social media to amplify our friendships versus create doubts?
You know how?
In real life. Every single day.
We look up from our phones and say hello to the mom across from us waiting.
We pick up our phones and create connections.
We meet our neighbors.
We get involved in our communities.
We decide that friendship matters more than perfection.
We know we all have flaws but are willing to dig deep and stick despite them.
We crave laughter and joy and know it is better with another.
We share our real life.
And we remember that social media is media that is social.
I wrote it in my book The Brave Art of Motherhood and I will repeat it now – we must become the friends that we need.
Maybe our social circles are small now, but often the only way to find friends is to choose to be a friend. And that isn’t effortless. It takes work. It takes being there at three am. It takes showing up for each other. It takes not just giving likes and going to the next thing, but sitting across from one another and listening. It takes doing the hard things. It takes supporting each other. It takes fixing each other’s crowns. It takes loving. It takes forgiving.
Friendship isn’t effortless.
Friendship takes soul-searching, life-giving, love-another work.
Truthfully, nothing in life that is super valuable ever comes easy.
Put in the time. Change the culture.
Be the friend you need.
It will be the best effort ever.
Rachel Marie Martin is a single mom to seven and the author behind the popular site, findingjoy.net. Her book, The Brave Art of Motherhood, was listed as “One of the Best Motherhood Books of All Time” by Book Authority.
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