I recently read a wonderful post by Randy Elrod titled In Search of Heroes – Where Are The Female Mentors. You can read this and his other fantastic blog entries at http://www.randyelrod.com. His posts always make me think. This particular one also made me respond. I ended my response with a the statement, “I don’t know why women feel they are too busy to be more than friends.” I went back to his post again today to read some of the other responses and the last line of mine hit me squarely in the chest, why do I pretend to be too busy to be more than a friend.
I have a few – a very few – very close friends. Those friendships are held close to my heart and I cherish every moment spent with these women, whether in person or on the phone. Age isn’t part of the equation in my friendships, neither is status or economic situation. I can’t even explain what brings this little group together other than our mutual love for Jesus Christ and our off the wall sense of humor. When one of us hurts, we all hurt… so pretty much we are always hurting, but we always manage to laugh til we cry when we are together. That’s how we ‘self-medicate’, because after all, laughter does good like a medicine… These women are more than just friends to me.
I also have a larger group – thanks to Facebook a much larger group – of women that I love and communicate with. I cheer them on and chuckle with them, and I call them friends, but what is the dynamic in this? I do truly love these women. A lot of them are friends from my childhood. Some of them are women I would never have gotten the chance to know at all if it weren’t for social media. But do I, or even can I make a difference in the lives of these women? Will we ever be more than friends?
Randy was talking about mentoring. There is a vast need for mentoring among females and not just for young women, but for women at all stages of life. We need to come along side each other and say… “I’ve been where you are, let me help you through this.” We try to do it all, don’t we? I’m a good one for buying books about the stages I’m in. When Larry got sick I bought every book I could find… but I was so busy with everything that was going on that I had zero time to read the stupid things. They all got donated after he died. I’ve been friends with young women and continue to be. It’s nothing formal, but they know I’m here and they can come hang out or call or email or whatever whenever they need me. Having 4 sons, I love this! If they wanted something more formal, I would be open to that. But I’ve never thought of it as mentoring until I read Randy’s blog. I’m not a hero, but I think there is some untapped hero in each of us that we need to share with each other.
I challenge you ladies, this week…. find one woman to reach out to and say, “I’ve been there, let me help you through this.” Let’s be more than just friends, o.k.?