To my surprise, August turned out to be a month of reunions with old friends.
In Feng Shui, an energy template or map (grid) called the Bagua (meaning eight sided) is used to analyze the layout of any space you occupy. It determines where different areas in your home, office or business are connected to specific areas of your life: Career, Knowledge, Family, Abundance, Recognition, Partnership, Children and Creativity, Helpful People and Health.
Friends are represented in two of those life areas: the first is Family. While this gua designates your family of origin – parents, ancestors, and siblings – it also represents any group that comes together for a common cause (work, church, book club, etc.). The second area is Helpful People, which symbolizes anyone who supports you financially, spiritually, and/or emotionally; it also represents anyone who is helpful in any way in your day-to-day life. In our particular floor plan, the Family area falls in a part of our garage and Helpful People is located in the lower right area of our living room.
In July I cleaned out the area in the garage that represents Family; I also put a new plant in the living room in the area of Helpful People. While I did not engage in these activities with any specific intentions other than to de-clutter and decorate, the energetic shifts appeared to have created an opportunity for special friends from my past to show up!
I pay attention to who and what shows up in my life so this sudden spate of reunions focused my attention on the meaning of friendship, old and new.
Synonyms for Friendship include attachment, an emotional bond; relationship, the way in which two or more people are connected; association, an organization of people with a common purpose; bond, a common emotion or interest; and link, a factor that connects one person to another.
And we know, like life, there is an ebb and flow to our friendships. Not all stand the test of time. But we also know there are long lasting attachments we have with some of those people, regardless of time and distance. We can’t exactly put our finger on why, but we know we are “connected.”
Paul Hudson, in his insightful article on 7 Reasons Why You Should Reconnect With Old Friends, gives us a comprehensive overview of the purpose of friends in our lives. He has this to say about friendships:
“Life wouldn’t be nearly as interesting, exciting or emotional without friends along for the ride. Friends are there to teach us about how other people work – they are our window to the world outside ourselves and our family life. They introduce us to the diversity of human nature as well as teach us how difficult it can be to get along.
“Friends serve a very important role in our development as individuals. They also function as a support team when life gets a bit overwhelming – which, at one point or another, it always does. As we grow older, we create new friendships and allow older ones to die out.”
When I began my career, my colleagues became my immediate new friends. When I became a newlywed, my husband’s work colleagues were added and our list of friends grew. We bought a home and neighbors became friends by reason of proximity. The list grew when our children started school and their friendships brought other parents into our lives.
And then a defining moment happened. I got divorced! It was amazing to experience how quickly the number of my friends dropped out of my life! I must confess it took me by surprise! In this situation, the unexpected loss of friends was a huge life lesson in grief, not to mention the already gut wrenching loss of a marriage and family unit as I knew it.
The friends who remained, propped me up and kept me going. I returned to work and made additional friends who also became my best friends for the past 30 years.
And there are those special people you meet with whom you don’t necessarily become “best friends” but with whom you share times in your life. I think of them as “peripheral friends,” and in my opinion, they are vital links in our tapestry of life. They connect the little memories with the big ones. And really, in the big picture, all are friends and all are treasured!
So, it has been with great, unexpected delight that August became a month of reunions with dear friends from different times in my life. They have enriched me in ways they will never know!
There were immense feelings of joyfulness and gratitude and much laughter as we reminisced over shared experiences. My heart was full!