Sunday, December 5, 2010
What Is A Friend?
It all boils down to attachment and fear. We want to think people like us. If they don't, then we become unimportant. We become afraid that we don't matter to anyone. Some of us like to be alone, but nobody likes loneliness.Yet so many of us are so damn lonely. And it grows worse.
We attach our validity to how people view us. It's Friday night--hey, whatcha doing? Let's chill. We go to a party that is filled with people looking for something they haven't got. It's easy to go out with people. But a genuine friend is the person that will stay home with you. Maybe you will watch a movie or share a meal. When you invite that friend into your home, you are showing them your identity. That friend knows what you treasure through your CDs and your books. That friend understands how you choose to live by the furniture you own. Your home is your inner sanctuary, your sacred space. Why invite someone who cannot appreciate who you are?
I like how Chaim Potok described friendship in his novel, The Chosen. A friend comes into your life like an accident. Before you know it, you are talking about everything in the world. Then one of you decides to share something--a secret, a habit, a belief--something no one knows. When the friends nods and accepts this revelation, you both have that gift of friendship. Your friend comes into your life when you are desperate to share something real. A friend understands. A friend gives back that same gift. You are no longer alone because there is one person out there who knows you aren't crazy. You are simply you. And that person wants your friendship.
We need to take friendship more seriously. A friend tells you the truth. A friend will listen to you. A friend may make mistakes, but if the friendship is honest, you learn to forgive. A friend is a teacher. A friend helps you learn who you are. For a while, all darkness is lifted, because your friend becomes your agent of light. No one is perfect, but with a friend, you are never alone.