The Beautiful Struggle of Friendship Navigating the Waters in 2021
by Deborah Peretz – Smithtown, NY

In the best of times, friendships between women are strong, empowering and loving, and still at times contentious. We get through our differences and relish the beautiful relationships we have built. I have, and know many women who have, friendships spanning twenty, thirty, forty years and beyond.  Just like in a marriage, those relationships at times are tested. It is a testament to our love that we find our way back to each other.

There has never been a more challenging time than now. I have read during this past year how Covid19 has destroyed lives, especially those living in nursing homes, how President Trump has divided our nation, or, on the flip side, how the left is tearing us apart. But I have yet to read about any significant discourse between friends who are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. We tiptoe around each other’s feelings, try hard not to say what we really feel for fear of hurting the other, yet are very much marginalized by the other’s perspective. There are those who feel emboldened to express themselves, and that often results in the shutdown of any meaningful discussion. Character assassination ensues, feelings are hurt, and we scour away to our corners wondering who will come out first. When what once was considered deep, soulful friendships are teetering on the brink of destruction, where is a girl to turn?

These women have been each other’s confidants, sounding boards, each other’s place to laugh, and place to cry. Each other’s place to dance in the rain and to sit in silence together. The shared history of knowing one another before the braces were even on, to crying through that first catastrophic break up, struggling to find first jobs, marriages, births, divorces….all of it……we are each other’s soul family. And yet, we are at a turning point, because the other is on the opposite side of philosophic reasoning. And it is getting harder and harder to express an authentic thought at all, and remain together.

I’ve been friends with two such women for about 30 years. Being a trifecta, there are times two of us are in alignment and the other is not. This past year, it has been a cacophony. And it has been difficult, to say the least. There is very little, politically speaking in which we are in agreement. On most issues we are on the opposite sides of the spectrum. To be fair, it has always been like this. The schism seems more pronounced now than ever, on almost every single issue. The fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic only adds fuel to the fire, as we are all not on board with what is perceived as proper protocol re the vaccine and masks.  Add to that that the differences in political affiliation, and the whole alliance is up in flames.

But here’s the thing. When I see these women, these beautiful souls, these goddesses, whom I have had the privilege to laugh with, to cry with, to work with, to play with, the vessels of my secrets, the sounding board to my woes, I see Light. I see through the positions we take and the stances that are so important to us. I know the exuberant splendor of their souls.  And while I am challenged every day, as are they, to maintain civil and respectful discourse, I know it is worth it. Because the beautiful struggle of friendship, of these friendships, are too close to my heart to ever give up. And I’m pretty sure they feel the same way. So if you share any of the same difficulties during this time, try to view the other as the Light in which they truly are, and you truly are, and see if you can shine together. Because together, we can illuminate the world.

 

Deborah Peretz is a Life Coach and Reconnective Healing Foundational Practitioner at the Holistic Center for Soulful Living (HCSL), as well as the Creative Director of Soul Shop, at HCSL. She lives on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband and two sons and is the creator of the newly released book, Look Up…A Reminder to Return to the Light Within, available on Amazon, at the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Look-Up-Reminder-Return-Within/dp/B091F5RKZJ/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2PK1KLOLMCY7A&dchild=1&keywords=look+up+deborah+peretz&qid=1618597467&sprefix=look+up+deb%2Caps%2C149&sr=8-2

Please visit https://soulfullivingcenter.com

 

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