Today we remember and honor the great Martin Luther King, Jr., a man of character and courage who saw that society had a problem and tried to inspire us to fix it. For his bold action and controversial stance, he was murdered. I often think about MLK and how it is that honorable men come to be—men who move mountains with charisma and determination to see a better world. For most of us, our reach only goes so far, and our influence is about what we can do on a small scale every day.
Having good girlfriends is one of the things I cherish most in life. My friends make me a better person because they not only challenge me but also tell me when my new foundation is too orange for my skin tone. I think there must be people out there who aren’t as lucky as I am to have such good friends. We need friendships in our lives—gal pals serve as a source of comfort and soul-fulfilling clarity about who we are.
I spent yesterday with a group of friends whose honesty, support, laughter, and loyalty I admire. We ate a delicious brunch and secured a popular spot where we proceeded to day drink. None of us had more than a couple drinks over several hours, but that wasn’t the point (even though we labeled our get-together in the name of the libations activity). The truth is, we simply enjoy each other’s company. We talk about anything and everything, the details of which shall remain anonymous here, and we leave each other wanting more.
One thing we talked about was how necessary it is for people (i.e., us) to shed toxic friends so we can make room for friends who build us up. Each of us could recall at least one friend we used to have who no longer shows up in our lives. We had to decide at some point, despite the difficulty, to let them go.
Recognizing those individuals who drain us of our energy and positivity is a crucial element in molding a better life for ourselves. It’s like Feng Shui for the soul—rearranging the friendship furniture—for the most propitious advantages. It’s like KonMari-ing your way to a minimalistic friendship circle. If that friend doesn’t spark joy, let it go. If you hesitate when considering her qualities, release her. If she no longer serves you, send her to the Goodwill and make room for better friends to come your way.
We can’t be friends with everybody. No one can stretch that thin without disastrous consequences. We must choose our friends with care and reap the benefits of mutual respect and time well-spent. Yesterday, we laughed at each other, with each other, and because of each other, sharing stories and attitudes about our lives free from judgment. We accept each other and hold each other in high regard.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can’t forget. Those are your ‘friends.’”
On this Monday, I am grateful for the bonds I’ve formed with these extraordinary women who trust openly and love freely. Their courage in relationships makes the world a better place. We may not always know the influence we have on others, but we must continue to be ourselves and seek friendships that warm our hearts and nurture our spirits. There is strength in every morsel of laughter, every moment of sharing. Through friendship, goodness and hope prevail, and it is through friendship that the world will be healed.