Friends, especially those we refer to as close, share experiences together – lots of them. You know your close friends, many would say, by what they do when you’re suffering. Most of us struggle with suffering and have a hard time being with those in the middle of unchosen suffering. We want to be there for them but we don’t know what to say, don’t feel qualified, or are overwhelmed in the moment and freeze.
As you are sure to suffer, pre load this response – expect few to come closer, be grateful for those that do, and give the benefit of the doubt to those that keep their distance. And, remember to give care to those suffering in your circle. Go be with. Give more than you take. Be a friend.
Today, a bunch of my friends suffered together. This was chosen suffering, so much different than the unchosen kind. Today, we suffered over fifty three miles and 5600 feet of climbing. We chose to do this. We experienced the camaraderie of suffering and grew closer in the process. Maybe it would be good for you, friend, to find some like minded folk and develop the discipline and joy of learning to do hard things well. Maybe, just maybe, this would serve to inoculate you from freezing when the bell tolls for one of your friends. It was good to be with you, Littlest Fricker, Governor, Grappy (aka BB), Downer, and PJ. It was good to suffer alongside each of you and enjoy the beauty of the climb. France will be sweet suffering and bring such joy.
Suffering is coming, the unchosen kind. You and I don’t control this for ourselves or for those we call close friends. Develop the discipline of being with. Be a friend. Inoculate yourself as best you know how. Model the way. Embrace pain and suffering. Embody truth in love. These are my three core principles that help me live in alignment with my worldview. I’m becoming a better friend with fewer regrets. Always a work in process, far from arrived, and more and more grateful for those in close proximity. Slow down and reflect. Count your blessings. Reach out to a friend. Give more. Good.
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…