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To Be Known

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

a blessing for friends who hold us up by Kate Bowler

“God, you called me to love
but people are inherently risky.
Telling my story, being known, asking for help,
complaining again about
the thing I worry might sound cliché by now. Shouldn’t I be over it already?

But something is happening when I am known.
I am becoming stronger somehow.

I am reminded of the pillars I’ve seen
holding up cathedrals.
Flying buttresses, engineered to provide support for a fragile wall,
allowing them to be built taller, more stunning, more covered with ornaments
or filled with stained glass,
letting all the colorful light dance in.

The walls would collapse without them there, but strengthened, they create something beautiful.
God, when I am no longer quite so tall and strong, give me those who hold me up
and remind me of who I am and that I’m loved.

Yes, I’ll get back up again today.
Yes, I’ll get those kids cereal
and help my parents with an errand.
Yes, I’ll go to work or come up with something better to do with retirement hours.

I will try again.
I know I will,
because someone else’s absurd faith in me
is fortifying

So, blessed are our flying buttresses.
For they hold us up
when everything seems ready to come apart, allowing us to face today—
not because we’re doing it alone—
but precisely because we aren’t.”

Monthly dinners.
Texts, calls to check in.
“Likes” and comments on Facebook posts.
Some things we agree on.
Some things we don’t.
The one thing we all agree on is the blessing of friendship.
Making time for connection.
Reaching out.
Creating new adventures.
Scheduling “play dates.”
Live the good life with what’s right in front of you, right now.
Foster, feed and nurture friendships.
The blossoms are beautiful.

“The good life is not always just out of reach after all. It is not waiting in the distant future after a dreamy career success. It’s not set to kick in after you acquire some massive amount of money. The good life is right in front of you, sometimes only an arm’s length away. And it starts now.”― Robert Waldinger, The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Study on Happiness

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