The Blessing of True Friendship
“A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.”
“To be capable of steady friendship or lasting love, are the two greatest proofs, not only of goodness of heart, but of strength of mind” – both quotes from William Hazlitt
“The language of friendship is not words but meanings.”
– Henry David Thoreau
Friendship is a wonderful blessing. To have even one other with whom you can share ideas, thoughts, and concerns. To have someone willing to listen, and to advise if sought. To have someone with whom you can just be yourself. To have someone who cares about your well being and happiness. To be that someone for another.
Yesterday and today I find myself particularly contemplating the wondrous miracles in my life this past year. What some would call synchronicity, I give all recognition to God for. I believe the meaningful experiences and meeting of people whom have meant much to me are no accidental coincidences. I believe it is evidence of the Holy Spirit at work. I am abundantly blessed; I am filled with gratitude…and joy!
It is just amazing to look back, in retrospect, to see how all things have worked together for my good. In ways I could never have anticipated or planned, beautiful happenings have occurred. Meeting those of like mind and heart who have become friends, who by their very nature and work inspire me has been such a deep blessing in my life – resulting in my growth intellectually, emotionally and most important of all – spiritually. And, I, with a willingness and deep desire to be a blessing to others – being given opportunity to share what I have learned through such friendships.
My faith in God – and serving Him – is the most important thing in my life. Surrender was the key to everything I have been blessed with. And it is through others, God often works – a revelation which makes my heart sing! It’s you and me who make the difference. Often, it is through friendship we serve God, learning what we teach, and being strengthened by the sheer knowledge, example, and sharing of another.
I have been blessed with a wonderful father. I have been blessed with a few good friends. I am in awe at the beauty and significance of them. How good individual(s) can be such a blessing (often I think far more than they may ever know) to others. For it is through time, one develops trust, and it is a good thing to know that there are a few whom one knows in which trust is well placed. Those of integrity, faithfulness, character and true good-will toward others – are rare. I treasure them.
Consider how few are those you have learned significant lessons from, and how few are those you could pick up the phone right now to share a joy with, and how few you could ask for advice from, and how few have inspired you to become more of who you are meant to be…those few whom you can trust.
The two quotes from William Hazlitt I with which began this entry: “A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles…To be capable of steady friendship or lasting love, are the two greatest proofs, not only of goodness of heart, but of strength of mind,” describe those who, perhaps even unbeknown to themselves, bless others daily just because of who they are – the right choices they have made. They are a blessing just by being themselves because they long ago made the choice to endeavor to express love toward all.
As I ponder the wondrous workings of God in my life, and the knowledge and understanding I have gained on this path we call life, due to those who have been a catalyst for growth in me, I am filled with such gratitude! Every day, during prayer, I express my willingness that I, too, will express God’s love in all I do – my words and deeds – to all I encounter. As I seek to learn and grow, I seek to share. I think then of certain individuals, such as my father and of the very few friends whom I most treasure, and pray not only for their abundant blessings and protection but also recognize the incredible blessing they have been in my life and express that gratitude to God for bringing them into my life.
True friends (true relationships based on truth – be it between friends or family) are a most wonderful blessing. In every relationship, we are both teachers and learners, if we have just a little willingness. It is the same with God, one must have the willingness to put all ego aside, and listen to the guidance and knowledge available to you. Through that willingness from the heart, we choose to always be receptive to the wisdom we may learn from another….likewise, we are willing to share with another.
True friendship is of the heart…of the spirit.
It gives us the opportunity to practice and develop the habits of the virtues of mercy, forgiveness, compassion, patience. In relationships where both are dedicated to truth, there will be peace. All relationships present opportunity to serve God by strengthening another’s faith, by service and teaching (even by the way we live our life) , and by being willing to accept the blessing of learning from them.
Every good friendship in my life, be it going back for years or relatively recent but for which I am very grateful, has certain qualities distinguishing it from others. Qualities coming to mind of the most beautiful relationships in my life include: Joyfully sharing; being who you really are always; complete honesty – basing the relationship on truth; a wanting to give and help; willingness to be who you are, share you are – both strengths and weaknesses; being introspective and admitting of mistakes; listening; having no expectations of the relationship; living in the present moment (not focusing on the non-existent past or future); happiness in knowing your friend is happy; and as I said – a willingness to learn. It is about giving. To learn another’s heart, and for them to permit you to do so, is a great gift. For another to trust you, as it is for you to come to trust another, a great gift.
With those, you can laugh, share humor, share activities, or simply say ‘hello’ and catch up with one another…but all of it is far more meaningful because there’s a depth of appreciation there for who each other.
The best friendships occur between two whole, complete persons.
They look not to “complete” themselves with another, though emotionally they may complement and spiritually supplement one another. Being strong individuals, they possess mutual respect, and seek only to share with one another.
Few can I relax and simply be who I am with, but those I treasure. And it is that type of friend I seek to be for those whom I care about. It’s not about words that are spoken, but meanings as Thoreau so perfectly expressed, “The language of friendship is not words but meanings.”
I call such relationships holy, for in them we become channels teaching love (God’s love manifest through us) thereby becoming a blessing to another. Such a holy relationship may occur between both family and friends. It requires a humble spirit. To wholly appreciate, is to love. And in it, joy is experienced.
My faith is strong. I’ve learned to trust God; that there is a divine order to it all (even if I may not always be aware of it at the time). I need not ever again wonder or be in despair, for though great is the mystery, the blessings are bountiful and wonderful. And true friendships have been a part of God’s miraculous workings in my life – this I see – and they’ve never been something I could make happen, but occurred on their own entering my life for the joy to be shared. They provide opportunity for each friend to remind the other of truths they know, to help one another be strong in adversity, to give comfort from physical and emotional hardship, and a chance to exchange happy and amusing observations of life, and most of all to encourage and be encouraged…to inspire and be inspired. How wonderful is that! True friendship strengthens one’s spirit and faith.
These are my thoughts today, a beautiful autumn day (after a windy storm last night), as I consider those I know in my life. I am simply filled with appreciation, and a happiness I wanted to share by writing this blog today.