Soul-friendships, as described by Susan in Dare to Connect, are connections made through our Higher Selves. When people talk about having close friends, these are the type that we usually mean. These friends are the type whose company we enjoy, but also the friends we can confide in and find true acceptance and support. Susan described soul-friendships this way:
1) Soul-friendships are the Safety Net of the Heart. Despite what happens in our family, business, or love relationships, good friends are always there. And the supply is unlimited! A number of soul-friendships guarantees a shoulder to cry on and a voice to remind us that we need never be alone.
2) Soul-friendships provide the wellspring from which all other relationships in our life can be nourished. With the help of a rich pool of soul-friendships we can work out our insecurities and fears and gather strength, integrity, clarity and love. We can then carry out these healing attributes to all our relationships—with parents, mates, children, co-workers, and even the “strangers” with whom we come into contact every day of our lives.
3) Soul-friendships allow us to know ourselves better. In trying to tell our friends who we are and what we are feeling, we explain it to ourselves as well! Good friends also provide a valuable source of feedback; they don’t allow us to get away with our act. They lovingly demand the truth about who we are. And, most of the time, we take feedback from friends much better than from others, particularly our parents, mates or children!
4) Soul-friendships provide the school in which we learn to love ourselves (a prerequisite to loving others). Friends are the mirror reflecting the truth of who we are. Through mutual sharing we truly learn that “you are me and I am you.” And, by definition, as we cultivate love and compassion for our friends, we cultivate it for ourselves as well.
Soul-friendships require us to make some major break throughs, especially for those of us who need to overcome our fear of opening up and allowing ourselves to become vulnerable to someone else. The benefits of soul-friendships are worth the effort and courage it takes to create them.