Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Friend Who "Feels" You

Reading Daniel J. Siegel's inspiring new book Mindsight, I was struck by his notion that "feeling felt" emotionally by another person is crucial for healthy childhood and adolescent development. Everyone has their share of difficulties growing up {some more than others}, but Siegel argues that as long as we have a person in our life we feel a connection with, be it a friend or a family member, our chances of becoming strong, resilient, happy adults increase exponentially.
Siegel says: "Being close to someone early in our lives gives us the clarity to know how we feel, and the ability to feel close to others."

This concept made me think of my oldest friend: Sara. I realized that in great part I have my precious friend Sara to thank for my relative balance and happiness as a "grown up." Sara and I both dealt with some rather difficult and traumatic experiences as teenagers, and I truly believe if it weren't for her love, support, and humor through those tough years, that I would probably be a terribly cranky, pessimistic, and downright antisocial person these days. I think I can safely say, more than any other person in my life {then or now}, Sara truly "felt" me! I hope I gave her at least a fraction of that experience, as well. Thanks so much dear Sara.

::Tell me readers, who is the person who has made you feel "felt" the most in your own life?? Don't forget to send them some love for Valentine's!!

{And aren't these vintage lady friends super-cute in their jodhpurs??}

13 comments:

sarafina said...

Aw man! That is so cool! You were my lifeline too.

And I do think it's true that there comes a point in life where one just needs to be understood and needed and that it does make a large impact on who we become.

That sort of coming-of-age relationship, where another person makes you feel real somehow through their recognition of you, is one of the reasons I remain interested in young adult literature. It is a moment in time that is just so meaningful.

sarafina said...

Oh, and am I the only one impressed that you know what jodhpurs are?

Michelle said...

I really agree with this! My best friend forever was a girl named Molly who I did absolutely everything with. We aren't very close anymore, but we still act a lot the same when we see each other, which surprises me.

{Tara} said...

Sarafina -- Really? I never realized that is why you are drawn to reading/writing young adult literature. Friendship is definitely a much more intense experience at that age, isn't it? BTW, you can be impressed that I know what Jodhpurs are, but just know I had to look up the correct spelling!!

Michelle -- I think it is interesting how that connection never really goes away even if it changes or you don't see each other as much.

Savvy Gal said...

I so agree. It is important to feel connected.

Kat said...

So true - I have one or two friends who've been absolute rocks :)

Those jodhpurs are awesome!

Jill said...

My husband

Sam said...

Awww! That's such a lovely tribute to your friend - I'd have to say my Dad and my pussy cats...and my boyfriend.

{Tara} said...

Savvy -- Absolutely essential!

Kat -- That is so good, and becomes even more important as we grow older.

Jill -- Insanely sweet and romantic!!

Sam -- Thank you. Your dad?? That is terribly lovely and sweet. My dad has also been there for me so much in the past.

KIRAFASHION said...

My hubby ;)

Maggie said...

My husband. We grew up together as best friends and still are. We understand each other like no one else. We joke that we must have been twins in a past life.

saragraph said...

my dear nana (paternal grandmother). --beamish

{Tara} said...

Sara -- That is so insanely sweet...makes me miss my [maternal] grandma :(

Maggie -- It is the most amazing feeling to have a romantic partner that is also your bestie!

Kira -- Sweet!!! Have a great Valentine's with your love!