The Gift

April 24, 2009 Well—here I am–just me and the paper. Here I am free. I can say what I want. The paper will not judge the thoughts and feelings of my heart. It will not tell me what I should or should not do, what I should or should not say, what I should or should not be. It is just me and the paper—the words I put on the paper to mirror the images and feelings deep in my heart. How I long to share those things with others—long to share the innermost parts of my heart. I want to share them with my husband and with my children, with my parents and my siblings, my friends and relatives. Isn’t that the desire within most of us, to share all of ourselves, completely?

I hesitate because I do not always feel safe. I do not feel accepted or ok to be who I am inside. Not everyone understands. Others feel hurt or offended by the secret thoughts in my heart—-not because I think badly of them but because of their own interpretations of what my thoughts mean about them or to them. I really wish we could share those things with one another and just love each other for who we are inside. I do not need to agree with you and you do not need to agree with me. But can we look past our own thoughts, into the heart of another and see and feel of the nobility within them?

I have had that gift for a little while. I have a dear friend. She makes me better than I am. She listens to the whole inside me without judgment, without condemnation. She asks me to think about things in context, to see how others might have felt about my behavior, words, or thoughts. She reminds me of the divine within others. She helps me see the BIG picture, reminds me of eternity, and gives me vision that I may manage the small stuff. How grateful I am for her perspective, for her counsel, for her confidence in my ability to do and be better, to give and love more, and cry for and demand less.

She is moving across the country and I feel so sad that I think my heart is going to break. I don’t want her to leave. I rely on her. I am safe. I am loved. I am celebrated!! Oh that all of my relationships were like that! Because of the wonderful gift our friendship has been, I know it is possible to have that in other relationships. I want that with my spouse, my children, my parents, my grandchildren….It must be a little like how we will feel toward each other in eternity—always helping and supportive, able to think and evaluate, ever loving and moving each other forward.

I am trying so hard to appreciate the gift, the years of our friendship, our time together and our growth, instead of focusing on the fact that she won’t be here with me everyday. How can I show my gratitude for a relationship that most never have in a lifetime instead of whining because it cannot continue forever?

I can look and build that kind of relationship with others. When I feel judgmental or condescending, I can remind myself of my friend. I can see the divine within her and see that others have that too. I can cut them more slack. I can be more patient, more loving, more forgiving. I can reach out more and look in less. When I think others should be more kind and more understanding, I can see if I am offering them the same gifts.

My time is up. I have to continue to live for today and take the opportunities given to me in this time and sphere. I need to recognize the beautiful gifts given, the people, places, and seasons where I have influence and enjoy those who influence me.

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3 Comments on “The Gift

  1. Your comments seem both very sad and very hopeful at the same time. Nobody would disagree that it is the type of relationship we all strive toward creating. She will certainly leave her presence with in many, many ways. Your friend has given you the knowledge that there are people that can share this type of bond on all the levels you crave and seek. It is heartbreaking to think of her leaving you. I can feel your pain. I don\’t think that is selfish in any way. I do truly appreciate your efforts to share this type of relationship and to spread the word that this is what you need, want and desire for yourself and for others. I commend you both. I hope you are exactly right when you say that maybe this is a little like what it will feel like in eternity. That is something to dream about.

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  2. I love you Carin as if you were my own daughter. What a blessing you have always been in my life. You will always have your friend, maybe not in physical form with you each day, however your memories and the blessing she has brought to your life will forever remain. Some people stay in our lives for a season, a reason, or for a lifetime, we just have to remamber that Heavenly Father sends them to us when they are needed, and maybe someone else has need of her now. May you always have life\’s richesd blessings. I love you and hope to see you this summer. Auntie Nell

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  3. So sweet to honor your friend this way… Your words are lovely and poignant. She blessed you in a way I see you blessing others. Lifting them up. Making them feel \”better than they are\”. You emulate all you've said she emulates. We are our own worst critic. It's so hard at times to remember that.I am also grateful for your friend and the person she's helped you to be. She has blessed others thru you. You are so compassionate and uplifting and caring…I've always believed that the friends we surround ourselves with are reflections of who we are… little pieces of us. I have friends who are quiet and thoughtful, friends who are silly and joking, some who like to debate, others who are slightly insecure- and I see MYSELF in each of these women. When I look in the mirror I always want to \”look better\” than I did yesterday and with dear friends growing in the spirit looking back at me, I know I am stronger too…. as are you from your friendship. I hope you don't lose touch with this wonderful person and that you continue to strengthen eachother.

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