Whilst walking through the Willows Estate in Johannesburg, South Africa, my dear friend Eva and I were discussing Paulo Coelho’s book The Pilgrimage.
There was a quote in that book that began a thought-provoking discussion:
The ship is safest when it is in port,
but that’s not what ships were built for.”
That got us discussing the meaning of a safe port or harbor. My friend described it in such a beautiful way:
Each of us are ships, and we have to navigate the rough seas on our own. But there are people in our lives that are our safe harbors, and they provide refuge and a safe harbor for us to dock our ships.”
– Eva Hayden-Smith
Have you thought about who your safe harbors are?
Eva’s words inspired me to remember my safe harbors.
When I moved to the U.S. six years ago, the community of women that embraced and welcomed me gave me a sense of belonging and a safe harbor, and I am so grateful to each of them.
About two years ago, I started a meditation group for women. My intention was to create a community for us to meet, connect, feel safe, and meditate as a group. I wanted to create a safe harbor for us women who are on a journey or quest of spiritual discovery.
When I read the quote below by Louisa May Alcott, it inspires me to be courageous and trust that all friendships come into my life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
I am not afraid of storms,
for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
Our lifetime friends are the ones we know will always be there, no matter how stormy the sea is and how rough the voyage might be.
Our reason friends come to teach us and guide us and for us to do the same for them.
A season friend comes into our lives for exactly that purpose, a season of growth and learning.
When you look at your friendships, who are your reason, season and lifetime friends?
This whole discussion on friendship brought up another question for me:
What about being a good friend to yourself?
Our friendship with ourselves is the most important friendship of all. It is also the one that most people struggle with the most.
We are kind and compassionate to our friends and easily try our best to make time for them and accommodate them. Yet we are not always compassionate and kind to ourselves.
This quote is a beautiful reminder to be your own best friend:
If you make friends with yourself,
you will never be alone.”
– Maxwell Maltz
Sometimes we feel courageous and sail our ship into stormy waters, knowing we must make that voyage to grow. Our courage is bolstered by knowing that, when we need a safe harbor to rest, we have it in our lifetime friends.
It seems that our lifetime people are always in synchronicity with us. As I sat writing this blog, one dear friend offered to proofread it for me, and another sent me a wonderful essay by Tyler Perry.
Your purpose is to be yourself.
You don’t have to run anywhere to become someone else.
You are wonderful just as you are.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
Hemla discusses why women often put themselves last (and how to start putting yourself first) in this interview with us for YBTV.