AUGUST 24, 2016
Gifts of Relationships
This summer provided unexpected reconnections with high school classmates, ushering decades-looong memories that could have continued to be a blur were it not for our shared reminiscences, including what we’ve left behind, and the paths we’ve taken to bring us to this time in our lives. I also had the chance to meet up with good friends with whom I have not spoken in ages, proving how time cannot dent close connections.
Our precious moments of togetherness opened my heart in countless ways. Here are some thoughts that occurred to me:
- The passing of the years have made us wiser, gentler, more honest, and more real. I initially shuddered at the possibility of conversations around comparing whose life turned out to be more grand or more “blessed”. I’ve started to dislike the word ‘blessed’, especially as it invoked the material sense, as if not having loads of these so-called blessings were God’s judgment between who did good and well, and those who have fallen short and thus unworthy. Our conversations skipped all these to how we’ve built our lives, our challenges along the way, today’s pleasures, and hopes for tomorrow. I looked into my friends’ eyes and wondered how we could have let time pass this long … but quickly realizing that life is about the present and in the moment of rediscovering each other in mid-life, we have recognized our kindred selves.
- I’ve observed that how we feel about the people in our lives offer a mirror to who we’ve become or who we aspire to be. It’s been said that “like attracts like” and luxuriating in my friends’ kindness, intelligence, depth, generosity, humour, confidence, compassion, and honesty, I wondered if my personal work to develop these qualities have paid off. We become what we focus on after all, and I can only hope that in recognizing these qualities in my friends, I may be seeing parts of myself too.
- The most precious gifts of relationships are those we do not see but experience. I truly believe that the most precious gift we can offer the people around us is the gift of ourself. That includes the gift of presence, being truly there, 100% with them in the moment. In the past, I would spend time with friends while secretly worrying about work deadlines. Or meeting with people who checked their watches every so often. Just being fully there with someone in the moment is the most profound experience of friendship. However way you define being 100% present to someone, it is a precious gift to give and receive.
- It’s never too late for anything. Never too late to laugh again like teenagers with the wisdom of the years, never too late to get to know people all over again, and most importantly, never too late to be the kind of person you’d like to hang around with.
To all my friendships past and present, maintained or rediscovered … your presence has been the best gifts of my life.
©2016 Copyright Margie Santos