Celebrating The Differences
On November 3rd was my birthday and after my parents and children had left the scene, going home and to bed respectively, I was alone with my last guest, my friend who is more or less my opposite. But maybe not. It seems on the first glance this way, but we do have things in common.
However, I don’t want to write about what we have in common, but the things we have not. Because this blog is about differences. Our conversation was fun, we laughed a lot, we talked about dating. Her stance on white socks with white shoes is a no-go, mine is, I wouldn’t even notice. She doesn’t like sweaters with big print on a guy, I’m just looking if he has a nice chest. While she is mentally doing a complete makeover on the guy, I am more concerned if he’s superficial in his taste in women or not. My three points to this were:
If you want her to wear high heels all the time, she can’t keep up with you when the going gets rough.
If you want someone with five inches worth of fingernails, go to the cemetery and dig yourself a vampire out of her grave.
If you want someone less intelligent than you (or even downright dumb), you’ll never grow in your relationship, you’ll stagnate and have to find inspiration elsewhere.
And then we went on to our personal differences. My friend is a very outgoing and loud person. She is fun, lively and always has a comeback. She is highly intelligent, driven and an absolute career woman, really great at her job. She is stylish, tall with long legs and knows all about the latest fashion trends; usually, before anyone else does.
I am the proverbial author. I can spend long hours by myself, typing away at my laptop, I think about all sorts of things and ponder mysteries a lot, do research, dive into spiritual depths and tend to lose myself in them at times to the point that someone has to snap me out of it. Usually, that’s the cat meowing loudly because she needs something from food to caresses or words of admiration and, as she is a feline goddess and she knows it, devotion and adoration. The children as well, of course. They don’t meow unless they talk to the cat, but they do talk to me.
Yesterday, for example, my youngest daughter Tarini asked me about my friend. She observed that we really love each other and that my friend loves to talk a lot. And that she finds it intriguing that we both love each other so much, even though we are so different. She was wondering why that is so. Here is what I told her.
My friend and I are very different. She has strengths in areas I am weaker and vice versa. That makes for a great team because we inspire each other a lot that way. By seeing another perspective on one situation, it broadens the horizon. And even if we don’t agree on everything, we spark each other’s thoughts and ideas.
Another thing in this relationship is that we both value each other for all that we are. When I cry in despair, she makes me laugh and when she feels insecure about a guy, I tell her, she’s a gift. Not to suck up, but because it's the first "yeah, but...!" that comes to my mind. That can then be interrupted by a quick kiss and cuddle because the love flows. It’s a great friendship and we always enjoy our times together a lot.
What I told my daughter is that it is important that different doesn’t necessarily mean incompatible. Instead, when mutual respect and openness is the basis, it can be very fertilizing for the mind and the heart alike. When you have only clones of yourself for friends, you have much less opportunity to grow and be inspired. You don’t have a good example in an area you are weaker in that you can orientate yourself on and you cannot be a role model for another in an area where you have your strengths, because then the other is already the same.
Of course, you have to have common core values. There has to be some common ground in your basics like that. But the expression, areas of expertise and interests can – and should – be different because that is how we grow in a relationship and can stretch to become an ever better version of ourselves.
So let’s celebrate the differences in life because they inspire us and spark that flame of creative passion within us when we are in danger of allowing it to dwindle down to a small glow or even to die altogether. Differences are a great thing. You don’t have to always agree to be inspired. As long as the other adds quality to your life, and you to theirs, it’s a match made in heaven!
What kind of friendships do you have?
Do your friends inspire you and do you inspire your friends?
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