Walk with Me – the Dedication for our White Chocolate Cranberry Granola November 25 2015, 1 Comment
There is a bit of magic involved with friendship. Sometimes we meet lovely people, but we don’t quite “connect” with them. Other times? BOOM. There’s a moment of realization that you want to be around that person, and you want to know that person and you want that person to know you. The initial, and perhaps surface connection may arise from a common belief or hobby, or having children the same age. Maybe we’ve met our new good friend in church, or in yoga class or while volunteering at school. However, that’s where the commonalities of hobby or lifestyle end and the magic begins. There’s an energy that can’t quite be articulated or felt in the physical world that enables the bonds of a strong, lasting friendship. I often think of that bond being caused by one soul recognizing another.
I met my friend Christine Carter during a messy time. Our first words to each other came six months after my marriage had ended, and I was still in the throes of learning how to navigate life and three children without a partner. Daily trifles often felt like crushing blows. Money was tight. I cried. A lot. At the same time, several women who had been long time friends had taken a step back. They say this happens during divorce, that it’s too much of a shake up for some to witness. Yet, instead of Chrissy being intimidated by my mess, she embraced me. I did not have a lot to give that year, and that was not an issue. Chrissy never, not once, conveyed, that there were expectations I needed to meet. She was simply there for me.
Chrissy is a jewel in so many ways. She’s a woman of God and speaks, as well as writes, about her faith often. She’s a talented writer, and posts gorgeous, inspiring words online on her blog The Mom Cafe. She's a nurturing mother, and a supportive wife. She has a wide circle of friends that she gives to selflessly.
If I had to choose just one quality about Chrissy that makes her extraordinary, it would be her ability to cultivate compassion. Compassion, in a literal term means, “to suffer together,” It has been further defined as “the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering.” When I have called Chrissy in crisis, I immediately get a sense that she is walking with me, sharing in my suffering, if you will. Chrissy puts herself in my shoes, not from her perspective, but from mine. She tries to see the world through my eyes, so that she can understand not only what I’m going through but how what I’m going through makes me feel.
It takes a deep understanding and acceptance of one’s own humanity and the humanity of others to see life through someone else’s lens. How many of us live with closed minds or with so much bitterness from our own negative experiences that we fail to offer compassion when it’s needed? How many of us look, with hardened hearts, at friends suffering around us, feeling smug that we’ve muscled through our own struggles and that others should just buck up and do the same?
Chrissy inspires me every day to do more, be more, give more, open my heart a little wider, and to honor others, exactly where they're at.
One of my favorite quotes of all times is from spiritual teacher Ram Dass, “We’re all just walking each other home.”
I am blessed beyond words to get to share my walk with Chrissy and it is my hope you have a Chrissy to walk with, too.
Love to all.