Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

BFFs ~

I don’t remember when I first heard the term ‘BFF’, or learned what it meant. I do know I had a visceral recognition: I knew – immediately – who my BFF was. Actually, who they were.

I have the BFF I can tell anything – good, bad, indifferent. I can bore her w/ my newest shopping purchase. Ask her advice when I’m worried about my marriage. Tell her I feel dumpy, and hear her admonish me ~ “You’re not dumpy!”

I have a BFF who is part of my spiritual journey. I’m a better person for her example (a good one :)). She drags me (sometimes digging in my heels like a mulish two-year-old) into doing things that are good for me: a writing group, reading a book on kindness, teaching with more research base.


I have a BFF who teaches me about love. I love her dearly, although she doesn’t believe me. How can she, when she ‘knows’ she’s not loveable…?

And of course I have my sisters ~ the BFFs I’ve relied on in the 11 moves we made between kindergarten and my senior year. Always someone to play with, sing with, yell at and to. And they still are. :) And my mother and her sisters — and my grandmother and her sisters.Three generations of sisters, each friends with the others.


So when religions talk about your ‘spiritual community’ – the church, the sangha – I think of my BFFs. When I worry I am impatient (I often am), when I obsess over my procrastination (deadly), I think: “Oh well. At least ____ [insert name of any BFF here] loves me.” It’s kind of like when I first realised my husband loves me.

I was only 19, and as dysfunctional as that implies: self-absorbed, immature, but full of  the ‘passionate intensity’ that animated so many Boomer kids. And I confess: it still lurks just beneath the polished veneer of professional adulthood… But the idea that someone so wonderful could love me? I think it saved me from the despair that crushed so many of my idealistic friends.


Now?  Same thing. When you have BFFs, you’re never alone. Even when you have very bad news — as one of mine heard this week — a BFF is there to hold you close. You can enter the restaurant crying and cry all the way through lunch and into dessert and still know you’re loved. Or, if you’re the BFF trying to comfort, you can know that sometimes there just isn’t anything good to say. Sometimes all you have to offer is yourself. Big hugs, warm hands  and reassurance: things may change (sometimes for the worse :(), but you’re not going anywhere.






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