The words are struggling to find their way to paper today. My deadline is looming, but my creative adrenaline hasn’t kicked in. Normally, this writer’s block would frustrate me. But today, I understand the emotional landmines blocking my way. If he were alive, today would be my father’s 67th birthday. Instead of waking up this morning to call him, I turned over in my bed and sighed from my soul.
My emotions have run the gamut. I have laughed at some memories and I’ve thanked God for the father He gave me. But accompanying my celebration has been an aching sense of loss and pain that is literally so deep that it can take my breath away at times.
On New Year’s Day, almost 15 years ago my father died suddenly. I was over 1,000 miles away from my mother’s love, but the friends who have become my family supported me through the darkest day of my life.
This month, we've focused on various aspects of friendship to celebrate International Women’s Friendship Month. I’ve often encountered women who tell me that they don’t have real friends. For some, past hurts have disillusioned them regarding future prospects. For others, they have convinced themselves that the demands of life and family leave them with little time for the luxury of friendship.
There are three scientifically documented benefits we receive from friendships that have the power to transform our lives. If you are struggling, or would just like to deepen your friendships, here are some insights to motivate you to forge strong relationships for your emotional and personal wealth:
1. Healthy Friendships Heal Us: Recent studies in neurobiology indicate that our brains and nervous system repair themselves as we interact with each other in the context of friendship. This means that healthy relationships are a place of safety and restoration. The pooled resources and strengths of our connections increase our odds of overcoming adversity.
2. Friendships Help Us Maximize Our Potential: Recent behavioral studies indicate that most adults who enjoyed strong friendships during their childhood realize greater holistic success. They experience a healthy self-concept and worth, while striving for other goals.
3. Friendships Increase Our Resilience: A recent study of women with breast cancer revealed that women with 10 or more supportive friendships were four times as likely to recover as those without. Our relationships provide us with the emotional support and spiritual connection we need to overcome the dark times. As a coach, I meet many women who complain of lacking the resources they need to accomplish their goals. The law of six-degrees shows us that our friendships are our greatest conduits for resources and connections in life and business. Therefore, relationships and resources are inseparable in our quest for success.
If you’re struggling to develop friendships—or just want to enrich your life—one of the easiest ways to form bonds fast is over common interests. Write a list of three to five interests you’ve always wanted to pursue. Give yourself three days to identify local groups and/or programs supportive of this interest. Set a deadline to join the group or attend an event by Sept 28th.
Define Your Wealth! Affirm today “I am emotionally available and committed to build the friendships I desire and need.”
Recently named the “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker” by eWomenNetwork, Felicia T. Scott is a Certified Empowerment Coach™ who empowers her clients to turn their Worth into Wealth as she partners with them to DISCOVER their WORTH, DO the WORK and DEFINE their WEALTH. Get more insight, download the FREE “8 Choices Winners Must Make” seminar MP3 on her website.