A few months ago, one of my closest friends Mel suggested we do a monthly check-in to make sure we were staying connected. It had been difficult to keep up with each other because of our busy schedules and the fact that she lives about two hours away. So, we decided to try out her idea and so far it has been successful! Our monthly check-ins consist of going out to paint and wine classes, trips to museums, a spa day or participating in something educational and inspiring, like attending a workshop or watching a documentary. Sometimes, we go out to dinner and chat about life and perhaps men, but usually when we get together we have one goal in mind by the end of the weekend- to heal. Healing for us begins with opening up about issues and challenges we are facing and then figuring out solutions or useful tools to overcome whatever ails us. After just three months of doing this, I am finding our check-ins to be more than just catching up. For me, it is therapy.
There are friendships and then there are kindred spirits and Mel and I are the latter. We like to explain our bond as a soul connection. Ever since we became friends five years ago, we have been on the same wavelength with spirituality and our views on religion and relationships. We can go months without speaking and once we connect, discover that we have the same revelations about these things. I value our friendship because it is authentic, open-minded, free from judgement, considerate and unconditional. It just works.
Our latest check-in over the weekend was therapeutic as usual. It was a rainy day so instead of going out, I threw a little slumber party for us. I tidied up the apartment, bought a bottle of wine and ordered take out. Once Mel arrived, we watched a great documentary, but mostly talked and caught up on life. We did this until three o’clock in the morning. The next day we had lunch on our old college campus and reflected over that chapter of our lives. We agreed that a lot has changed since graduating five years ago. We have a new found perspective on life and our purpose. We let these thoughts linger for a couple of hours and then ended the day at the Spa. It was the perfect Sunday.
I am learning more and more of how relationships are about building and strengthening one another. I can honestly say, all of my friendships do that for me in different ways and I am very thankful for them. After every check-in with Mel, I leave feeling a little bit lighter than I did when I arrived because I am able to uninhibitedly unload whatever burdens I’m carrying in that moment. I share this experience with you because I believe it is important to have people in your inner circle that you can trust and connect with on such an intimate level. You should be able to just simply be yourself. I keep in mind that we all may define friendship differently and as we grow and evolve, that definition may slightly change. At the core though, friendship to me is about comfort, trust, connection, growth and love (even if it’s tough). Your friend should be your safe place. For some, that kind of connection doesn’t happen often and not something I take for granted. I challenge you to start a monthly or weekly check-in with your friends and see how much it strengthens your relationship. Who knows, it might be a therapeutic experience for you as well. Don’t miss out on that special bond that true friendship provides.