Hello SOTGC community!
I begin this post with one of my favorite quotes about friendship by Anais Nin: “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
I absolutely adore this quote as it truly encompasses the idea that friends bring out a special part of each and every one of us; how friendships may act as a catalyst for the surfacing of certain aspects of our personality or general being.
After a beautiful birthday weekend with some of my closest friends, I could not help but realize how my closest friendships have always played an immense role in helping to bring out my most balanced self; how amongst the hectic and challenging aspects of my “med-life” as a medical student, and now a resident, my friends have been beyond significant in helping me stay balanced.
How are friendships able to help bring out one’s most balanced self? Here are some ways that I have experienced firsthand over the years. I hope this post inspires you to see your friendships in a different light and explore healthy friendships as a means of embracing your most balanced self, now and always!
First and foremost, I always thank my friends for helping me turn off my “medical brain.” In other words, when I need to get my mind off of work and clear my thoughts, some quality time with friends is often exactly what I need. My friends and I come from all professional and educational backgrounds, with different life stories, different interests, and different hobbies. This makes for interesting conversation on such an array of diverse topics that I can often depend on my friends to shift my thoughts from strictly work-related topics to everything under the sun instead. Keeping balance often means exactly this; learning to detach from work when needed and being able to sometimes lend our thoughts, energy, and conversations to other topics besides work.
Time with friends can also often be unstructured, fun, and silly. I can’t begin to describe how great I always feel after laughing hysterically with my friends over an inside joke or one of those “you-had-to-be-there” moments. It is great to juxtapose the easy-going, noncritical conversations that we can have with friends, with the structured and goal-oriented conversations that we often engage in during our work or school. What better way to stay balanced and unwind than with some close friends in a completely relaxed atmosphere?
I truly believe that friends also help us approach life’s challenges in a balanced way. I find my friends offer me a unique and beautiful balance when I need advice from them; they simultaneously provide me with an alternative take on a given challenge but at the same time know me well and have my best interest in mind. This makes for a great mix when it comes to addressing life’s challenges. Simply talking out problems with friends also helps us to externalize feelings and often see things in a clearer light.
My closest friends have also gotten to know the diverse aspects of my personality and interests. They know me beyond “Maria the medical resident” and thus, I find, they keep me true to my multifaceted self. They remind me of my other hobbies and interests and allow me the opportunity to express and develop those diverse parts of myself. This, I believe, is one of the most significant aspects of having friends as a means of bringing out your most balanced self. I feel that this speaks to the way I view “balance” itself – to be able to be in a state that allows you the opportunity to feed and nurture the multiple dimensions of your being.
My dearest readers, treasure your friends and express your gratitude for their presence in your life. Good friendships are truly a gift to us – helping us achieve our most balanced selves is but one aspect of friendship that touches each and every one of us each day!
My dearest SOTGC community, what does friendship mean to you? Do you find that your friends help to foster your most balanced self? If this post resonated with you, share it with your friends, family, and colleagues on Facebook and Twitter