Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nurturing Friendships

written by Stephie Goldfish
“I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.” — Walt Whitman
I waited at Starbucks a few minutes before I was to meet Laura for coffee.
I brought along my John Bradshaw book I’ve been reading called RECLAIMING VIRTUE: How We Can Develop The Moral Intelligence To Do The Right Thing, At The Right Time, For The Right Reason, and I brought the tiny book gift I got Laura based on the theme With God You Are Not Alone, a theme that Laura so graciously writes often about at her blog and in her books she has written.
Laura entered the coffee shop and at once our eyes met and we smiled and hugged each other.
Laura had also come with some reading material that she shared, one book by Ann Voskamp called One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are , and the new book of poetry by Maureen E. Doallas, called Neruda's Memoirs: Poems. Both of which I anticipate on reading as well.
And my heart settled down and we talked and drank our coffee. It was such a blessing to meet Laura this time after so many years, and after a couple of missed attempts to meet each other this past year due to various circumstances on my part.
Laura and I came back in contact with each other once more nearly a year ago through Facebook, emails, and The High Calling.
Our history goes back to 1995/1996 where I had seen Laura for psychotherapy for a short time after I had moved back home to West Virginia for a while to regroup and recuperate. But I lost contact with Laura in 1996 after I had moved back to New York City.
One of my stories about our friendship was among the many stories listed in the “We Are Real” stories where I wrote about Laura, and how she and I first met, and recently came back in contact with each other. You can read the first We Are Real story here: Think of Laura.
In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid, oxygen, water, food, clothing and shelter are the basics we humans need to survive.

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid, we must have each need satisfied, starting with the first level where we find our most obvious needs for survival, such as air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sleep, etc.
When these lower level needs of physical and emotional well-being are satisfied, then we are concerned with the higher level needs such as belongingness and love needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs where we seek personal growth and our experiences peak.
At the same time, Maslow also recognizes that when things that satisfy our lower level needs are removed or brushed away, we are no longer concerned about maintaining our higher level needs.
This is about where I stand on my journey to simplify and ground myself.
At this time in my life, I find myself in sort of yo-yo effect having moved up and down the ladder of Maslow’s Pyramid reaching peak experiences such as when I was in art school or first moved to New York City for my very first computer graphics job in 1986.
I know that when things seem out of control or I’m feeling ungrounded, it’s the basic needs that I have been neglecting, and thus, the higher level needs, such as nurturing relationships, take a back seat.
Maintaining balance is so important, and you are bound to failure if you have not mastered this first level, and to move on to another level where one finds success in relationships will almost always result in failure.
The third level in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid is where one finds that belonging, being part of a group, where, through love and affection, friendships can be nurtured.
And for a few moments, sitting, talking with Laura, time stood still, and I was transported to a place where all of this doesn’t matter. For Laura knows brokenness too, yet, to me, she is one of the most whole persons I’ve ever met.

Laura is such a beautiful spiritual soul, that, being in her presence, I felt at ease and relaxed, and I didn’t worry so much about where each of us are on our journey of life.
And I realize that it’s only through grace of God that any of us are even breathing.
The words of Walt Whitman above are so true; words alone cannot tell all that was felt there at our meeting. I did have a sense that Laura was sad, but I didn’t know at the time that she had just lost a dear friend.
It felt so grounding to be in Laura’s company, and I hope that we will be able to keep our friendship nurtured and some other friendships that have been waning.

Related posts:  Simply Grounded

What about you? Have you thought of simplifying your life? If you’d like to join in on the discussion, join us over at Culture Smith Consulting where we will be discussing how to Simplify our lives.

Culture Smith Consulting


  1. I somehow missed the "We are real" post about you two having known each other long ago. How cool to reconnect after all these years! I met Laura this fall and immediately sensed how warm and open she is, and full of the Holy Spirt. Sounds like you two had a great time together.

    Friendships have become increasingly important to me since my divorce more than a decade ago. However, I still find it a challenge to be intentional about making time - even for these important friendships.

    Bless you!!

  2. I'm just now visiting the posts linked-up at Cheryl's.

    I didn't know you and Laura knew each other in real life! How fun, Stephanie. Yes, I've been trying to Simplify too. Right now I'm working on keeping my calendar empty!

  3. Hey! Apparently, I have missed a great deal over here :). Always the last to know, that's me. :) This day is a wonderful memory for me too, Steph. I hope we will get a chance to meet up again soon.