Why Our Friendships Matter

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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20131011-215917.jpg
Actresses Kerry Washington and Cicely Tyson over brunch
Photo Credit: The New York Times

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
John 15:13

The other day I rushed to a local cafe to talk with a good girlfriend. For weeks, we tried to catch up; between the both of us we are juggling careers, families, and oh yes,  finding time for ourselves. So, when she texted me, I set aside the time.

As we neared the end of our chat, she said something seemingly innocuous but quite profound. “Let’s set another time to talk, and then get together.” With a sense of urgency, she nudged, “Let’s really do it.” “Yes.” I said, immediately connecting with her point. “Sunday works for me,” I said, and we hung up.

Somewhere amid the weightiness of obligations that become our lives, friendships begin to feel like a luxury. Some nights after putting Naima to sleep, I have chosen the comfort of my bed over returning a friend’s phone call.

My girlfriend’s comments the other day reminded me friendship takes work and commitment – especially at this moment in our lives when loosing ourselves in doing for others is easier.

The deep sense of connection we form with other kindred spirits is vital to our own health. According to a New York Times article, friends can extend our lives. The piece cited this interesting finding. “A 10-year Australian study found that older people with a large circle of friends were 22 percent less likely to die during the study period than those with fewer friends.”

Cicely Tyson and Kerry Washington made headlines recently when they talked over brunch for hours; these two friends, with decades between them, share numerous similarities such as initially pushing against the disapproval of parents to follow their desires to act. As the time together ended, Cicely gently urged Kerry to take care of herself. Her words demonstrating the depth of the two women’s bond.

Yes, friendships matter immensely, and despite obstacles we encounter with maintaining them, holding on is crucial. So, call your friends, cherish them, these relationships nurture us at our core, teaching love, growth and empathy.

Live In Color! – Emelda

Tell us about your friendships! Is it a struggle to hold on to some? How do you stay connected?

Making Peace with Risk

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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20130106-073414.jpg“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”
– Thomas Jefferson

Risk unsettles the neat world we construct for ourselves, rapidly destroying boxes and firm categories. Instantaneously our stomachs knot, arms tighten, and the inner voice of doubt emerges: “Who do you think you are?” “You can’t!” “You don’t have enough education, connections, etc.”

When those voices arise, as they will, we must respond with affirmations such as “I am worth the life I seek.” Tape these phrases onto your mirror, dashboard, or wallet; surround yourself with words of courage and hope to help you transcend stagnation. Mediate, pray, seek God’s guidance, and then listen quietly.

Ultimately, the inner battle with doubt is an immense gift as it propels us into a new consciousness, one which simultaneously sits with trepidation, and walks through it.

It’s uncommon effort, this risk taking, making peace with misery is infinitely easier. Yet each time we refuse mediocrity we walk into liberation, and a world imbued with promise.

What risk (s) do you want to take? How will you push past fear – prayer, mediation, affirmations, etc.?

Further Study:
Dr. Wayne Dyer, an inspirational writer, teacher and speaker