A Friend at the End of the World

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Meeting a kindred spirit is a profound moment; it’s like finding a piece that’s been missing from your puzzle. Unique from a best friend or even true love, a kindred spirit is a connection on a whole different molecular level. Trust me, you know if you’ve ever met one. You just know.

They come into our lives precisely when our spirits need nurturing the most. In fact, they often act as guardians of our spirits during a crisis. They honor the need to care and be cared for, and it’s been said that their intention is to create the support needed to uplift the human spirit.  “Kindred” literally means “similar in kind” so it isn’t surprising that we share many of the same life tests, themes and challenges as our kindred spirits. They see the world in the same shades and colors as we do.

Recently, Gwen Stefani spoke to CBS News about the sudden end of her 13-year marriage and how it left her feeling “like I had no skin, it was so raw.” She said, “I was down all the way; you don’t go down lower than that. It was rock bottom.”

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But then she found a kindred spirit in Blake Shelton, her fellow judge on NBC’s The Voice.

During this past year, the country singer had also been through a very painful and public divorce.

“In all of this craziness that happened, like unexpected horrible-ness, I found a friend that was going through literally the exact same thing as me,” she said. “And that is a miracle, you know? And it just saved me so much, and I feel so grateful for that.”

That resonated with me. I’ve felt that exact same gratitude too.

I met P. upon signing up for a divorce support group. Like me, he was still inside-out raw. He’d been suckerpunched at the end of his marriage too, a relationship also nearing two decades that produced two children. From the get-go, P. and I clicked; it was as if our energies were abuzz on the same frequency.

It’s hard to explain what it was like other than to say it’s similar to that ethereal feeling when someone crosses your thoughts and suddenly, you hear their name or bump into them out of the blue. You’re aware of it happening on a deeper level of consciousness. With a kindred spirit, you and a perfect stranger have instant compassion, shared knowledge and an intuitive sense of what the other person needs before they ask for it.

If divorce was a hurricane, my friendship with P. was a safe harbor. We were free to share our feelings, trusting that we would be understood and accepted even at times we did not understand ourselves. It felt good to have P’s hand to hold, shoulder to cry on and arms to hold me. When I felt dejected, he would remind me that I was worthy of love and happiness. When I was on the verge of exploding in anger, he’d talk me down from the ledge. When I cried, he would comfort me, wipe my tears and tell me what a fool my ex was for letting me go.

We truly enjoyed being in one another’s company, and spent as much time laughing as we did listening. The fun times P. and I had going out for dinner, taking a walk or seeing a movie were not only a welcome distraction from the pain we were going through, they were truly uplifting moments and just as good for our emotional health as leaning on one another.

A need, at times, to be together and talk, 

And then the finding we can walk

More firmly through dark narrow places,

And meet more easily nightmare faces;

A need to reach out, sometimes, hand to hand,

And then find Earth less like an alien land;

A need for alliance to defeat

The whisperers at the corner of the street…

(Excerpt from “Not Love Perhaps” by A.S.J. Tessimond)

Our friendship didn’t last long, maybe six months. We both came to a point in the road where we knew we’d have to go our own ways, ever grateful for those few precious months together that enabled us to gather up the strength to walk the rest of our journey to healing alone.

I believe that P. saved my life. He was a companion heaven-sent in my darkest hour; a confidante I could reveal my true self to; a friend at the end of the world. It was as if he was intentionally plunked down in my path because a Higher Power knew I needed someone beside me. Gwen Stefani is right; it is a miracle.

Kindred spirits cannot easily be described, but their purpose can be defined. Looking back, I know that I met P. to receive a flow of support, encouragement and love through a traumatic time so that I could make the transition from darkness to light. We were so much alike because he reflected my own goodness.

Most importantly, I know that P. came into my life to expedite my healing. He opened my heart so that when the time came for me to meet the right person, I would be ready to accept love again. I can’t think of a higher purpose nor a better gift.

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