Not long ago, a standing lunch date with my oldest friend happened to land on a day when we were both experiencing turbulence in our lives. As soon as our eyes met, a mutual knowing was exchanged. The goddess radar had clearly detected that something had both our divine knickers in a twist.
We headed to our dining spot, exchanging pleasantries and catching up on our regular topics. It didn't take long before the suspense got to me. I asked my friend if she wanted to discuss what was bothering her. She opens up easily, so in true form she shared her troubles, acknowledged her own role in the matter, and moved through her process with an easeful grace.
Then it was my turn. "Do you want to talk about it?", she asked. "No", I replied, shoving a piece of flatbread the size of Wisconsin into my mouth. "That's okay", she said (and she meant it). Well, before she knew what was coming, the floodgates opened and I unleashed every wave of disappointment, anger, sadness and injustice that I had pent up inside. I went from zero to dragon lady in 2.2 seconds. Four hours, two almond milk lattes and one nerf ball sized cinnamon bun later, we both felt peaceful (granted her peace probably came from the fact that I'd finally stopped talking).
I'm incredibly grateful to say that I have more than one of these sacred friendships in my life. Some of them I've had for decades, others just a few years. But my relationships with each of these women have some things in common.
Here's how to spot your own soul sisters:
- Your relationship transcends time and space. Your experiences together may date back to your sandbox days, or you may have met as adults and formed an instant kinship. Either way, you have the distinct knowing that your souls are dear old friends. Time apart has no bearing on this bond. She's at the top of your list when you have wonderful, exciting news to share. And when times are tough, text messages a quarter mile long that start with "I know this is stupid but I just need to vent" are welcomed at all hours.
- You feel comfortable being vulnerable. This one's huge. We all wear masks. You have the persona you portray when you're at work, another with acquaintances, another when you're in the mom role, and so on. But when you're with one of these special ladies, the masks come off and your true self comes through; the good, the bad and the ugly. And she accepts it all, with no judging. That's what makes your interactions so nourishing for your soul.
- You lift each other up. You'll know who your soul sisters are simply by the way you feel when you're around them. Laughter magically weaves itself into the deepest conversations. If you pay close attention, you can physically feel your heart open up, stress hormone levels drop, and all the other immune boosting conditions that occur when relaxation response sets in (that's the opposite of flight-fight response). Soul sisters are good for your health!
- She honors your brand of crazy. One of the best perks of these sacred friendships is that you don't have to justify or rationalize why you're feeling the way you do. She knows where your old wounds are, and how they affect your relationships and experiences. Isn't that so comforting, to feel truly validated and understood? On the flip side of that coin, she can serve up the dose of reality you need without beating around the proverbial bush. Her advice doesn't offend you in the slightest, because you know that she's coming from a pure and loving place.
- You own property in each other's heart. Perhaps the sweetest thing about these sacred sisterhoods is the peace that comes from knowing your soul is completely safe with them. Their hearts happily serve as a haven for your deepest fears, nonsensical insecurities, your most daring hopes and wildest dreams.
If you are fortunate enough to share one of these priceless sisterhoods, you are beyond blessed. The souls of these wingless angels chose to include your well being as part of their life purpose. Is there any higher honor? Cherish your time with these ladies, and keep them in your prayers when you're apart.
Give a shout out to your soul sisters today! What would we ever do without them?