A Community of the Heart (Friendship & Happiness)

Photo by Sanja Gjenero

When you set out on a journey of healing and self-discovery that spans 5 states and just as many states of mind, you tend to lose a few friends.  In my case, some of them were “close” but needed to get lost anyway; while others were never really friends at all. Some I chose to leave behind, while others fell by the wayside on their own.  It was an unavoidable aspect of what I have come to refer to as the “cleansing” component of my personal journey.

What has been exciting and endearing to the heart, however, is the fact that I have also met a lot of new friends over the last two years – people from different walks of life, with different personalities and perspectives; each with their own something special that they have brought into my life.

As I reflect today on how grateful I am for all the wonderful friendships I am blessed with, I cannot help but think about what a diverse group of people they are — these people I call “friends.”  I also cannot help but think of what incredible people they are, in general.

From my older friends (who I met during the growing pains of high school, or the wilder years of college, or the stressful days of law school, or during those years I spent trying to achieve my way into happiness as a trial attorney, without regard for the toll it was taking on my mind, body & spirit) to my newer friends (who found me at a time when both my body and my heart were completely broken; or while I was still in the process of finding myself; or, more recently, as I have begun to settle into my Self and build a new life) — the people who I call friends today are a unique and fabulously eclectic mix of beautiful people.  From those I have known for years to those I have never actually met in person, they are reflections of what I believe to be the best that humanity has to offer.

What struck me as curious today, however, is how they can all be so very different and yet have so much in common that I feel connected with each and every one of them in the deepest and most sincere of ways.

I could not help but ask myself exactly how it is that I have developed such meaningful relationships with them all – what sense of kinship has brought us together?

As I thought about it, I thought . . .

“Well, you probably couldn’t put the lawyer/philosopher/republican in the same room with the therapist/author/democrat without (at the very least) some fightin’ words getting exchanged.”

“You definitely wouldn’t want to leave the windsurfer/business owner/extrovert alone with the behavior analyst/doctoral candidate/extrovert without (at the very least) a moderator.”

“And you’d be better off just never letting the pistol packin’ former state trooper/conservative/grandmother meet the bohemian/conservationist/arborist at all — (unless either the sailor/engineer/writer or the nurse/chef/diva were there to hand everyone a cocktail and a smile).

But there are a few things that all these people and the rest of my friends definitely have in common.

Photo by Garbriella Fabbri

Like everyone else we live with in this world, they all want to be loved and to love in return; to feel needed and to be useful; to be prosperous and to be happy; and to enjoy Life as much as possible.  And there are a few more things they have in common, as well.

My friends are all people who understand that you cannot be truly loved without loving in return; you will never be needed if you do not make yourself useful; to be prosperous, you must allow yourself to be happy; and, most of all, they all know that to enjoy Life as much as possible, you must first choose to Live.

These people and the friendships I have shared and continue to share with them are a big part of what has kept me going on my own journey of healing, happiness and self-realization.

Without them, I might not have found the courage or the strength to keep going during those times when it would have been so much easier to give up.  They have laughed with me, cried with me, gotten frustrated with me, and forgiven me.  They haven’t always agreed with me or understood exactly what the hell it was I was trying to accomplish; but they loved me anyway and just let me be me (whatever that entailed at the time).

They are a diverse community; but they are the community of my heart.  And I am grateful for each and every one of them.

I hope that you will spend some time today thinking about the friendships you have in your life and that you will savor, with gratitude, the kinship you share with those people.  I would also love to hear about what makes your friends (and what they bring to your life) special and unique.

On a final note —

It would be remiss of me not to mention one extremely special friend, Lisa.

Lisa – wearing an original Dawson Nance™ design.

She refuses to come when I call her, 9 times out of 10.  Still, she demands my attention constantly. Her breath smells a little funny most days; and she sheds fur everywhere. But she snuggles up to me every morning with excitement; everyone she meets is a potential new friend; and her heart and soul are as beautiful as her big brown eyes.  She’s probably the best friend a girl could have! And I am so very grateful for her friendship too!

Leave a comment


  1. This is so well written and addresses a lot of feeling we or, shall I say, I have felt. One thing is certain, if we allow it, these experiences, good or bad, are part of our growth and cause us to be who we are today. Thank you for sharing.


    • Francine, not sure this comment was meant for this post; but it’s a great opportunity for me to say, “Thank You” for being one of the treasures I call “Friend.” Many blessings and keep snapping those beautiful photos! S

  2. Great Posting ! Since stopping by I have made sure to check back in – I think your words written are what so many feel and don’t say or in one way or another can relate to. I can tell you a quick story – I had a friend I grew up with and we were best friends starting at around age 7 or so. Then around 15 or 16 we parted ways as we both went to different schools and my life took another direction with military service, married at a very young age and children. I always thought of this friend but never made contact or tried to actively search for him, most of my best childhood memories are with him and we always seemed to have those stand by me moments, like at age 12 being robbed of our fishing gear on a railroad bridge in the middle of a pond by two older kids.

    Now with the internet two years ago my interest peaked and I looked for him on Facebook, it took me several months to message him but he had said he had been looking for me as well every once awhile but since I didn’t have a public profile he couldn’t find me.

    long Story short we met for lunch and it was like we picked up where we left off, would you believe he also found a love for photography and we share almost many of the same exact interests as adults. We stay in contact and even though I live the next state over, it is only about 35 miles, we regularly head out on photography adventures. I’m still married now over 20 years and he started his family a bit later than I, my oldest is a fireman and his boys are just starting to play base ball but nothing much has changed other than that.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Ed, I love that story. The image of your fishing gear getting stolen on a railroad bridge made me think of the movie, “Lean On Me,” and made me wonder whether you guys might have a made for T.V. movie in the mix. I’m so happy that you were reunited and that you chose to share your story with us. Thank you also for the affirmation about what it is that I am doing with the blog (and, psuedo-secretly, with the book). Many blessings and many glorious days ahead to you and your old friend! Sloan

  3. What a thoughtful post to remind us all of the importance of our relationships that warm our hearts. Love and miss you and Princess Lisa……..?diva?

  4. Clearly, what these diverse people have in common is the gift of knowing a special person like you.

  5. Thank you . . . lawyer/philosopher/republican!

    You are, indeed, a blessing! S

  6. A fine and inspiring post

  7. Thank you greatly! Many blessings and have a wonderful week! Sloan

  8. Hi Sloan! I enjoy your blog and find it very inspiring and so I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. You may have been selected for this award already, but I just wanted to extend my appreciation anyway. Blessings, Cathie


    • Cathie, thank you so very much! Your kind and thoughtful gesture warms my heart. I’ll have to accept the award in spirit only, as I stopped formally accepting awards some time ago. I always enjoy your blog posts very much; and I am honored to find the appreciation mutual. Many blessings to you and all that you do, Sloan

  9. fantastic post!

    • Thank you so very much! I’m glad we’ve been able to connect; here and on your fabulous site. Many blessings, love & light, Sloan


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