The Strange Friendship

The Strange Friendship

This week’s inspirational thought is a short one, but potent. Over the last several weeks, I’ve been wrestling with house issues, health issues, and some unexpected schedule changes. Nothing serious, thank goodness, but that steady stream of speed bumps had put me in a bit of a funk.

Then I stumbled upon this quote:

Make friends with the problems in your life. – Sarah Young

Make friends with the problems in your life. – Sarah Young


Why on earth would I want to do that? Aren’t problems the enemy? Aren’t they the glaring “to-do” lists simply waiting to be checked off? Why would I possibly want to make them my friends?

But just as I was about to discount those words as “not applicable,” I stopped to consider the process of developing a friendship.

What is my mindset when I want to make new friends?

I am open, willing, and interested in learning about them. And, if I’m on my game, I listen more than I talk, observe their responses carefully, and probe thoughtfully with good questions. I’m steadfastly curious in my effort to get to know them.

So is there value in using that approach with problems?


If I approach the problem as if I am preparing for a new friendship instead of a battle, maybe I’ll relax my automatic defensive posture. Perhaps I’ll even diffuse that cloud of angst, often filled with shock, anger, and even self-pity, that distorts reality and slows my process of understanding the problem.

I can refuse to let the thought of “one more thing” overwhelm me by shortening the cycle from incident to acceptance.

I like that. It’s efficient!

Sometimes, though, the problem is not “one more thing.” Sometimes it’s a hard pivot to a new lifestyle.

Despite our best efforts, Mother Nature and Father Time persist, and we age in a way that begins to limit us. Our children grow up and out, and we’re left with empty nests that need to be filled. We transition from one stage of life to another, and Marie Kondo our way into downsizing or at least right-sizing and must let go of things we once cherished.

And there is lingering loss. The acute becomes chronic, rippling through every part of our lives.

Yes, some problems can’t be fixed; we have to learn to live with them. But perhaps we can still treat them as a friend, inviting them into relationship while welcoming the new learnings ahead.

After all, as the studies suggest, friends enrich our lives. Maybe our problems can, too.

How about you? Could the “friendship approach” to problems help you? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

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