Just who are the Heart Friends? A collection of remarkable women who connected during their years at West Point. Over time they have stayed in touch thru phone calls, e-mail and yearly gatherings (now twice a year gatherings). We just enjoyed a fabulous time on the beach in Wilmington, North Carolina. It was a grand time of laughing, sharing, praying, eating, being...and it is precious to each of us.
Right now I am reading John Ortberg's book, EVERYBODY'S NORMAL TILL YOU GET TO KNOW THEM. In the first chapter he makes it clear that we are all weird, slightly irregular, damaged goods...all we like sheep have gone astray.
One of the great marks of maturity is to accept the fact that everybody comes 'as is.' We have been able to do that, and actually enjoy it. Our yearning to attach and connect, to love and be loved, makes that possible. John describes it as the fiercest longing of the soul.
He talks about a research project on relationships called the Alameda County Study that discovered the most isolated people were three times more likely to die than those with strong relational connections.
"People who had bad health habits (such as smoking, poor eating habits, obesity, or alcohol use) but strong social ties lived significantly longer than people who had great health habits but were isolated. In other words, IT IS BETTER TO EAT TWINKIES WITH GOOD FRIENDS THAN TO EAT BROCCOLI ALONE."
So, the Heart Friends gather and hope to live significantly long lives together!