Yesterday, I did a 5-hour and fifteen minute (every minute counts!) hike with some outstanding girlfriends (who also happened to have a whole lot of endurance-Silver Lining). We did the hike to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of my FBC diagnosis. For me, it was as much a celebration of health as it was a celebration of friendship.
The experience really got my noodle thinking about the power of friends, especially girlfriends. Support, salvation, transformation, life: these, I believe, are what women do for each other in real relationships with real consequences in real time.
Studies show that our girlfriends may play a far greater role in our lives than we might imagine (actually, if we think about it, we can imagine it!). Research on women and stress provides strong evidence that being with girlfriends is a key component to our health and vitality.
In June 2001, the Harvard Medical School’s Nurses’ Health Study concluded that women’s social networks play a vital role in enhancing our health and quality of life. The study went so far as to conclude that not having at least one good confidante is as detrimental to a woman’s wellbeing as being overweight or a heavy smoker. How’s that for a shocker? Or maybe not a shocker, considering that girlfriends:
- Do things for us that we often cannot do for ourselves, often when we need them the most.
- Envision our greatest potential, even when we can’t. And then they challenge us to step into it!
- Listen without fixing (unless we want a fix and then they fix!).
- Celebrate strengths and patiently tolerate works-in-progress.
I have so much gratitude, appreciation and respect for all of my girlfriends. They are a true Silver Lining in my life. I hope that if this post resonates with you that you will call a friend and tell that person how much your friendship means to you.