Wednesday, May 28, 2008

BFF* - No Need to Choose Just One

Friends are very important to me. Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs Typology test? If so, you may have been frustrated by the forced choice of some of the questions. One question really annoyed me: Would you rather have a FEW DEEP friendships or MANY SHALLOW friendships. I always wanted to answer, "I would rather have MANY DEEP friendships!" But the test didn't allow that answer, so it seemed life didn't either. Recently I attended Treasure Maps to the Soul, a retreat which artfully challenged that limited belief.

Ann Weiser Cornell and Barbara McGavin teach Inner Relationship Focusing and have developed Treasure Maps to work with places in our lives where we tend to feel stuck - old patterns that have not given way despite therapy, affirmations, fire walking, or church. It was a fascinating week over-all, but one concept in particular grabbed me. Barbara and Ann claim we live in a BOTH/AND world. We can have our cake and eat it too.

Driving home from Calistoga to Ashland, I mused about that idea of BOTH/AND and remembered the "few deep" vs "many shallow" friendship question. As I drove the curving road leading out of the Napa Valley I realized that I had, indeed, created a life in which I have many deep friendships. In my case it happens that a lot of these friends live elsewhere. We don't have regular quality time. In some cases we only get together every few years, but each visit is extremely meaningful. In this important area of my life I have, indeed, been able to have my cake and eat it too. Yum.

(Could it be that we rarely, maybe never, have to choose between things that really matter to us? If your life sometimes feels like important needs are being overlooked, abandoned, or buried, you might want to consider Focusing.)

The picture with this post is a SoulCollage card honoring Ann and Barbara. More SoulCollage cards at SoulCollage Talkabout.

* Best Friend Forever


lilalia said...

As someone who left home early (14 years old) and spent many years living alone/ with others before starting a family late (mid 30s), I completely agree with your both/and when it comes to deep and lasting friendships. I am meeting a relatively new friend for breakfast this morning, whereas in three weeks time I am going to London to meet up with two high school friends; one how lives in Montreal, the other in northern India. Viva friends and all the riches they bring to our lives.

Lydia said...

Hi Sharry,
Boy, was I glad to read a new post from you! You've been busy, busy. I absolutely love that soulcollage; very wonderful.
In the friendship dept., it's something I'm working on, being a loner all my life. I have new and old friends who are dear to me, but I disappoint myself when I compare my ways of showing I care with "normal women" who seem to do it naturally.
I looked at the focusing site and it's quite intriguing. You really are a wonder!