Many people think that a virtual (online) connection to those they have not met in person is not ‘real’. They think that if you haven’t spent real face time together you cannot be truly connected or considered ‘real’ friends. I may have thought so too at one point. But now I definitely disagree.
I have made virtual friends all over the world. Some have been made via business connections, some through friends of friends. What has been most amazing is the willingness many have to openly share their lives, their thoughts and their support!
I never used to realize how powerful turning on my computer and finding my virtual friends there meant to me. But over time, the messages of love, support and encouragement whether just because or relating to my online shares have warmed my heart.
I have built life long and deeply connected friendships via the internet. All of which I am extremely grateful for. I have talked with people via email and telephone, that I have never met in person, and feel as close to or closer than some of my face to face relationships!
You see, it is not the proximity of someone being right next to you or being a million miles away. It is all about two people connecting on a soul level, who are willing to build a friendship of trust and respect.
I would not trade my virtual friendships for anything! I could not imagine not having access to the many friends I treasure and can connect with daily via the internet. I love seeing my friends (virtual and otherwise) share their lives via pics and their words.
I do not have to be there in person to know how they are feeling about something, to share in their joy and sadness or to learn about their life journey. It is exactly that ability to connect that I love, because we can all stay better connected.
When I know my friends need encouragement or support I offer it and vice versa. When I want to celebrate something with my friends I can do so because I know via their posts about the milestone or event and vice versa. I realize that just like face to face relationships, online relationships take commitment. It’s not always easy, in either case, to stay connected and be aware of what is going on in each others lives. But if you want to build and keep up friendships you have to make the effort.
I absolutely love my virtual friends who show up for me (virtually) and make the effort to build and maintain our friendship! We are all busy and making the effort means a lot. Some of us have hundreds or even thousands of virtual connections. But the people who matter to us are worth the effort.
I am thankful that I am worth the effort to my virtual friends! My heart would hurt losing any of my virtual friends… because I cherish these friendships so much and they are each a wanted and necessary part of my life.
I lost one of my virtual friends recently. Not because we grew apart or had a falling out. Not because we let time come between us and did not stay connected. We talked on the phone and via email and we regularly connected via Facebook. We sent gifts and cards in the mail. We both knew our friendship was solid and that we could always count on one another. We prayed for each other. We laughed together about silly things and we cried together about painful, heart wrenching things. We both offered support and encouragement to one another. We never met in person. We both agreed we hoped to… some day.
I wish she were here now, so I could cry to her and share my deep loss and pain I am feeling. But she is in heaven now. She fought a treacherous battle with cancer… she didn’t lose the battle, she lost her life. Losing the battle would have meant she gave up hope or gave into the horrific pain and disease invading her physical body.
Cancer did not invade her heart, her mind or her thoughts. Instead, she held on to good thoughts, positive thoughts and thoughts of healing. She even continued to encourage, inspire and support others during her own suffering!
I know my friend is now another angel surrounding me from above and still blessing me with her love. I would not give up the chance of our virtual connection for anything, not even to not feel the sadness and loss that I feel right now. My life was blessed when we connected to each other and will be forever blessed having known her.
I honor and cherish my virtual friendships and am better off for having each of them! Do you honor your virtual friendships? Do you put forth the effort to build and maintain those friendships that mean the most to you? Today is a good day to let your friends know how much they mean to you… I know that my friend and I often reminded each other how much we loved each other and that we were grateful for one another. That is something I will always hold close to my heart.
This post is dedicated to my beautiful friend, Catherin Meredith, whose unending love, support and encouragement to many made a beautiful difference in the world.
Rest in peace.
“Milestones Test Our Ability To Accept ALL We Are Given As Opportunities To Be More Genuine In Love And Life. No One Else Holds Your Answer. Via Your Inner Knowing Only You Know Your Way Home.”
— Catherin Meredith
August 16, 1966 ~ November 3, 2012