Lately, I have been thinking a lot about friendships and what distinguishes a friend from a best friend. Online, they are known as BFFs or best friends forever. Oprah calls them “besties” and has dedicated entire shows to this special relationship. Rob Lowe says he’s married to his. And I know I am married to one of mine (love you Chris!).
Best friends are different from regular friends. They are the people who really “get” you and are there for you when it really matters. When your time is limited and life is overwhelming, they are the ones you want to be with because they make things easier, not harder. They can love you unconditionally while still challenging you in the ways that spur your evolution. We all need best friends.
And yet best friends can change over our lifetime. Some of us have best friends from our childhood who still are the right people to have near us as adults. But sometimes, those childhood connections fade as we grow. Some of us have best friends who are tied to a specific part of our lives, like a job or an adventure and we are forever bonded by that shared narrative. Most of us have best friends who share some key values or ways of being in the world and we feel at “home” when we are with them.
The best thing about best friends is that you can have more than one. And this is what this post is really about — calling in your BFFs. I think it is OK, maybe even necessary, to have more than one best friend, because it is challenging to have one person be all the things you need. Take me for example. I have 4 solid best friends whom have been in my life for years — Lisa, Monica, Pema and Chris (my husband). Obviously, Chris and I share some life experiences that bond us deeply — being parents, living together, and making a lifelong, legal commitment to each other.
But I am deeply bonded with my other best friends too, just in different ways. Monica is my spiritual best friend — we share a philosophy and way of living that is grounded in our belief of the universal laws. Those practices connect us in ways that I don’t share with others. But then Lisa is my best friend who shares my professional journey — together, we have mentored hundreds of people and we care deeply about helping others grow and develop. Pema lives in San Francisco but we are connected by our shared healing journey from difficult childhoods. We support each other through our wounds and triggers and then spur the other on to new insights and growth. I am blessed to have each of them in my life.
Recently, I was taking stock of my life and despite all their awesomeness, I felt like something was missing in the best friend department. I love, love, love all the ones I had but what I didn’t have was a playmate. I wanted someone with whom I could have fun and share things that I love, like reality TV shows, knitting, and musical theater. I still wanted someone to go deep with but I wanted more joy and play in my life and I needed the BFF that went with that joy and play. So I set an intention to bring this person into my life.
Enter Dana! Dana is my newest BFF and he is the most awesome playmate ever. We get together every week to do fun things and we chat and laugh every minute of it. We can go deep, which is awesome, but more often, we are silly and ireverrant. Dana loves Chris and my daughter so there is no weirdness about spending time together and Chris is happy that I now have someone to talk to about who should win So You Think You Can Dance (my vote was for Eliana and Cole!).
I am so glad that I took stock of how my life was feeling and that I needed to add this component of playfulness. And I am blessed that my intention led to the manifestation of Dana. While Dana is my newest best friend, his contribution to my life is just as profound and powerful as my other best friends. And the most awesome part is that my BFFs all know each other and like each other so
Take some time to reflect on your best friends.
This post is in honor of Dana, Monica, Pema, Lisa and Chris. I love you guys!