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There’s Love in Friendship

By Shaniqua Pearce  • February 25, 2024


February is the month of love and our timelines are filled with roses, debates about the role of gifts in relationships, and deals on everything pink, red, and white. As a young adult who grew up online, I can admit that it’s challenging navigating social media around Valentine's Day for those who are single or focused on other parts of life at the moment. However, this year all the memes about sharing chocolates with a friend made me think more deeply about my tribe and the ways we show up for each other. 



For screen-readers : Gif of Valentines Day themed desserts with a heart shared cookie reading “I’m in love with you” and an adjacent heart shaped cookie reading “Snap out of it!”


To join in on the holiday, my girls and I planned a ‘Galentines’ Day leading up to February 14th where we took the time to block out the outside world, catch up over some lunch, and recommit to making sure we set aside time on our calendars for trips like these. 


Often we can become so focused on our goals, successes and challenges that we forget to dedicate time for rest and connection with others. Galentines' allowed us to do so in a fun and trendy way, where we treated ourselves and prioritized some downtime. 


Spending time with friends allows us to bond and showcase our love and appreciation for each other. So, during the month of love, I reflected on the power of connection by reaching out to my squad and asking them to share their definition of ‘friendship’. What does love look like in the context of friendship? As much as we may be aware of our own love languages, if we want our appreciation to truly resonate with others, it’s helpful to know how they best receive love. Here’s what my friends had to say: 


“Well to me, I define friendships as a space where I can be loved and I can love others. For me, just being able to love and share valuable moments with people is so amazing and important. Having someone to laugh with and just share key moments in your life brings me so much joy…being able to have spaces where I can be vulnerable and be able to cry with no fears of being judged and exposed. Also, I think friendships help us grow and mature, because, in my opinion, true friends are always eager to correct you and guide you when you make the wrong decisions and say the wrong things.” - June, 23


Another friend gave a definition rooted in their faith. 


“Friendships - A three-strand cord is not easily broken. In times of difficulty; in times of joy, friendship is knowing you don't have to go through it alone or that you get to experience it beautifully with others.” - Jacob, 23


The reference here is taken from the Bible verse Ecclesiastes 4:12:

[12] Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.


Reflecting on what my friends shared about friendship, the power of vulnerability, joy, growth and togetherness shines through. There’s a place for friendship that can never be occupied by any other type of connection. One where you can talk about anything that comes to mind or simply sit in absolute silence just enjoying each other’s presence. I recognized that creating a safe space for each other to exist in and providing support both on the bright and the tough days is what makes them feel seen and valued. It reminds them that they are powerful and worthy no matter what life may bring. I am so grateful for my tribe being my safe space too. 


As this month of love and connection draws to a close, remember that you don’t have to go through the rough patches alone. Lean into your tribe! Activate your support system. 


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Shaniqua Pearce is the Director of Communications & Membership Relations at Let’s Unpack It. She obtained a BSc. Psychology (Special) with First Class Honors in 2022. She is pursuing a Master of Arts in Industrial & Organizational Psychology and has experience in marketing, human resources and administration. Through storytelling and collaboration, Shaniqua seeks to empower young people to advocate for the psychosocial support they deserve. 


 

In a moment of despair, we could all use a little help and support. If you or someone you know is going through a rough patch and need support for your mental health, know that assistance from mental health professionals is just a click away! Reach out to one of the resources here. Help is just one click or one phone call away.



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