To Have a Friend, To Be a Friend

If you’ve never heard Carole King’s song “You’ve Got a Friend,” then you need to click on the title and listen to it right now. The song offers a perfect lyrical definition of friendship, and the raw, pure, and comforting sound of King’s voice makes her sound like an old friend singing to you. If you have heard it, then you probably started singing it to yourself as soon as you read the title. Well, keep on singing! And why not out loud?

Here’s an excerpt from the song:

When you’re down and troubled
And you need some love and care

And nothing, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night.

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there.
You’ve got a friend.

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You sang it didn’t you? And I bet you’re still smiling! When I include a poem in the writing prompt, I always ask someone in my Healing Journey writing group to read it aloud for us. So when I asked for a volunteer to read the excerpt from the song, she sang it. As she sang, we were all swaying or nodding our heads, and smiling. We were not only listening to the words–we were feeling them, embodying them. That’s what great songs can do (do, da, do) for us.

Photo by Clarisse Meyer on Unsplash

Great friendships can similarly affect us in emotional and physical ways.

Let’s reflect on that and explore the importance of friendship in our lives.

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Reflect on the importance of friendship in this time of your life. Consider the following questions to help guide your reflection and writing:

  • Has your friendship with someone become closer? If so, in what way(s) and to what effect(s)?
  • Do you have different needs and/or expectations from your friends now?
  • Have you become a better friend to others? If so, in what way(s) and to what effect(s)?
  • What would you like to say to a friend who has been especially helpful to you during this time? Maybe you’ve already expressed your gratitude to this person. Consider writing about it anyway to see if your expression of gratitude is enhanced with stronger feelings or more expressive language (the anonymity of writing for ourselves can result in such differences in the way we express ourselves).

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