Happy Galentine’s Day!
The first person who consistently, freely, easily told me “I love you” was not one of my parents, or any of my romantic partners, but a girlfriend.
I have always been a bit awkward – smart, weird, introverted, and, as I learned later, on the autism spectrum. I used to feel surprised when I made friends, and, as I often joke, many of my friends are extraverts who have taken me under their wings.
During 2020 I set a Sankalpa (yogic intention) of “I am supported” because I was feeling very alone. And strangely, online activities during lockdown was where I found my tribe, the peeps that got me, and I now have the largest circle of girlfriends I ever have had, and am feeling the most supported I ever have been in my life.
The best thing about having girlfriends for me is that they listen better, and understand more about my life’s circumstances, than the men in my life.
Being middle aged, my older girlfriends are the ones that understand that my bladder seems to be shrinking, and that everything is getting dryer. Younger girlfriends are the ones I can talk to about things I haven’t come across earlier in my life, like gender fluidity, pronouns, polyamory, or fancy sex toys.
My girlfriends are the people I can practice holding my boundaries with, and get better at asking for help with. I go to a girlfriend to talk out my issues when I am feeling stuck, sometimes to get advice, but often to just verbalise and make sense of how I am feeling, or about what is actually going on in my life.
And I got better at telling people I loved them because of the girlfriend who told me often that she loved me….
Research shows that having good friendships improve our physical and mental health, and especially good female friendships.
So let’s celebrate our girlfriends this Galentine’s Day!
Karen Howard is a counsellor, coach, energetic body worker and yoga teacher. She is also an Access Bars® Facilitator and a Body Process® Facilitator. You can connect with her via her email email@example.com
You can find out more about the history of Galentine’s Day here.