Friendship is...one soul living in two bodies.

Friends are God's way of taking care of us.

Friends and acquaintances can be like buttons on an elevator. Some can take you up. Some can take you down.

"Warm Hearted Friendship
~ Always and Above All Else"
~ Sky

Grace is friendship to self, to others and to the divine.

“Ours are the arms with which God hugs and holds her children.”
~ Sue Thoele

Friends are not a luxury; they are a necessity.

"The main thing I've learned in my three decades with IBM is that relationships are the key to success. If you don't have a relationship with others who are trying to go to the same place you are going, you lose the synergy that can help you get there. For any organization to be successful, the individuals in that organization have to have a high quality relationship with one another. Part of relationships is knowing when to back up because the other person knows what to do and when to step forward because they need some help."

~ Grant M. Bright

FriendsGrace Through Friendship

Of all the paths to grace, perhaps no other is as easy as enjoying a friendship. A true friend reminds you that love is the essential nature of being. A friend is the one who sees your divinity despite your doubts. A friend is the person who sees your magnificence despite the momentary glitches in your life. A true friend provides a glimpse the creative and loving spirit of the universe. A true friend sees that you are a child of God when you feel like you are the stooge of the devil.

A true friend is more healing than the most competent of therapists. A true friend can be more nurturing than the best of parents.  A true friend can be more loving than the most romantic partner.

The goal of psychotherapy is to remove the psychic blocks that impede your awareness.  A good friend can do this through shared stories, a listening ear, and supportive words of affirmation. A friend can liberate you from delusional thoughts that might imprison your soul.

Parents want the best for their children, but often don’t know how to give the best.  Friends can at times act as surrogate parents, nurturing you to grow into your full potential.

Romantic partners may want the best for you, but their desire to help is at times clouded by their need to receive. A friend is a person who values you, who cares for you, who loves you, no matter what is going on.

 A good friend accepts you for who you are and who you aspire to be and loves you, unconditionally.

A friend helps you feel so connected to yourself, to your community and to the divine, so that paradoxically, you no longer need a friend but instead you become a friend.

Friends are not a luxury; they are a necessity. As social animals, we humans need meaningful social contact. We need friends. Studies demonstrate the physiology of human contact. For example, when people are in nurturing human environments, levels of oxytocin goes up (which in turn induces a feeling of well-being) and stress levels go down. Without this contact, humans, like many other mammals, suffer. Studies show that the number one predictor of human happiness is friendship.

 In the U.S. and other industrialized nations, people suffer terribly from isolation and lack of friendship. Many people think they are depressed when really they are starved for friendship. To fill this aching need, people fill up on pills, bigger and more isolating houses and cars, toys and endless distractions. And ironically, the more pills and stuff a person consumes, the less likely they are to seek friendship.

Lack of friendship is not talked about because it is too painful. How many people would rather admit that they are drug addicts, victims of rape, broke, or depressed, rather than admit that they have no real friends?

As children, it is easy to make friends. In societies that are relatively immobile, friendships grow and develop naturally. In mobile societies (such as that of the US) old friends are left behind, and it is often a challenge to make new friends.

For some people, one of the scariest challenges in life is to make a friend. Making a friend is creating a relationship based on truth. Finding a friend is often more challenging than finding a lover, because the potential of rejection is so much harsher. With romance, rejection may be attributed simply to the rejection of an imperfect body part. In seeking friendship, rejection may feel like the rejection of your soul.

Sometimes the first step in creating a friend may be the realization that you have acquaintances who know your facade, but no friends who know your soul.

The second step to gaining a friend is listening to the other person's truth, to what it is about them that makes them come alive.

The third step is revealing your truth, what makes you come alive. This may be the most challenging part, because at this revealing moment you are vulnerable to ridicule, rejection and what may feel like the obliteration of your entire spiritual being.

Paradoxically, even as grace grows out of friendship, grace does not depend on friendship. The moment you depend on a friend is the moment grace is lost. Instead, grace thrives in giving to a friendship, not in the taking.  

An extraordinary magic begins when you risk your soul and create a friend. Once you create one friend, it's easy to create many other friends.

And when you have experienced one true friend, you know what love is, and from this wisdom you may begin to love others and to thrive in grace.

"We are incomplete creatures. We cannot live alone; we cannot find our own meaning alone. We realize our potential, we become alive, only when we find the 'between.'" ~ Jonathan Haidt

The bird a nest
the spider a web
the human friendship.
~ William Blake

What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies. ~ Aristotle

We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.
~The Dalai Lama

Truth springs from argument amongst friends.
~ David Hume

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:
"What! You, too? Thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

If one is estranged from oneself, then one is estranged from others too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others. ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

 


When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. ~ Henri Nouwen

We don't accomplish anything in this world alone ... and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something. ~ Sandra Day O'Connor

 

To have a friend, be a friend.