Do you have a “How Are You. . . Really” friend? You know, the kind of friend that looks past the “I’m good, how are you” and peers into your eyes and genuinely wants to know how you are really doing.
I still remember the first person who took the time to look past my outer layer and say those words. . . “how are you. . . really?” I was in college and can remember feeling shocked by the question. It was this question that drew me inward and outward at the same time and allowed me to explore my deeper layers. I have never forgotten that question and how it opened my eyes to the depths that reside not only in me, but in others, as well.
“How Are You. . . Really” friendships require time and trust. Two ingredients that are hard to come by in a world that moves at lightening speed and blogs, facebook, and twitter become such prominent sources of connecting. Don’t get me wrong I love this online world, but absolutely nothing replaces the power of sitting across from someone and truly being present in a shared moment.
I wasn’t sure that I would find a “How Are You. . . Really” friend outside of the bubble of college. I did, though, and I am so very thankful. Here she is. . .
In this photo she is sitting in my living room in her spot and I am behind the camera sitting in mine. It is a Friday. This is where you will find us every Friday morning. Her awesome husband watches our kids (all six of them) because he knows how important this time is. We have been meeting like this, faithfully, for more than 6 years. In these years we have shared our lives, past and present, and walked through ups and downs together. We have talked about our joys and our sorrows as well as our struggles and our successes. On some days the “How Are You. . . Really” question reaches into depths that produce tears that empty boxes of Kleenex while other days it brings forth the simple details of raising
husbands kids. Some days our time is filled with laughter and on others these hours take a more serious tone. It’s never the same as it mimics the ever changing lives we are living.
To know and to be known. . . this is what a How Are You. . . Really friendship is all about. For me, it is as important as air to my lungs or food to my body. It is a friendship that gives me a soft place to fall when the sometimes harsh world leaves me winded. It is such a friendship that nourishes me to my core and makes me a stronger person.
I realize that such a friendship is a gift and maybe even a rarity. . . but in all reality, I truly wish for everyone to have a How Are You. . . Really Friendship. . .