There are Golden Threads that run through our lives and we
deeply experience this treasure trove when we share cherished
memorable times with our heart-connected friends. To have
a friend we need to be a friend and it seems imperative that
our “best friend” be our Self. Friends nourish our Spirit. Friends
are Kindred Spirits. Friends are like angels guiding us through
doldrums and the storms of life. Without friends
life seems bleak and meaningless.
Aristotle said that a truly deep friendship is what we experience
when a single Soul abides in two bodies. Perhaps a deepening
Forever Friendship is a prerequisite for evolving Sacred Soul
Mates. As the Forever Friends’ history of trust and loyalty
strengthens they are then eligible to share Sacred Space.
One truly deep Forever Friendship can usually be much more
Spiritually enriching than dozens of relatively surface family
relationships. This does not preclude a family member from
being a Forever Friend. For those that do not have a family it is
urgent that they develop Forever Friends. Many folks these days
have hundreds of so-called “friends” on Internet social networks
and yet they do not have even one single Forever Friend. Social
networking is like a cocktail party…lots and lots of interactions
with almost no heart-connected emotional substance. Many
folks confuse the concept of acquaintance with that of friend.
Robert Burns’ gorgeous poem Auld Lang Syne powerfully
addresses the stark difference between an acquaintance and
a Forever Friend. This is probably why this poem evokes such
amazingly deep emotions in people.
In the 2007 movie, “Enchanted”, a fairy-world actress asks her
typical New York City paramour actor if he believes in forever
and he responds, “Forever. What is that?” Think about this.
If one person is into “forever” and the other person is not how
could they ever become Forever Friends?? They could be lovers.
However, they could not become Forever Friends.
About 10 years ago, I conducted 3 or 4 Friendship Workshops
through my private counselling practice. In these workshops
we shared “heart-to-heart” about our experiences, struggles,
successes and failures in developing friendships. During
these sharing sessions, we isolated and defined many of the
characteristics of deeper friendships. Here are some of them:
- a. Friends emotionally “listen” to what each other shares and to
what the other DOES NOT share.
- b. Friends can confide without fear of a breach of confidentiality.
- c. Friendships need to be “full-time” and responsibly maintained.
- d. Friendships are supportive during times of misfortune.
- e. Friends encourage each other to grow emotionally.
- f. Real friendships can never end. Every “good-bye” is a “hello”.
- g. Real friendships don’t end with death.
- h. Real friends are non-judgmental and non-critical.
- I. Friends are sensitive to and respect emotional boundaries.
- j. Friendships never run completely smoothly. Conflicts need to
- be authentically and genuinely resolved as they arise.
- k. The deeper the friendship the higher the probability of hurt.
- l. A successful life can be defined as one with a good number
of rich and deep friendships.
- m. Real friendship is not a “dress rehearsal”. It is truly real now.
During our Friendship Workshops, many men talked about how
extremely difficult it was to find and maintain even one good
friendship with another male. On the other hand, many women
talked about how they had two, three or more close female
friends. This seems to be a very deep-rooted anthropological
issue rather than some failing in the male Psyche. Perhaps it
means that males need to be much more vigilant in honing their
skills at accessing, maintaining and evolving true friendships
with other males.
I hope that you are successful in building and creating many
friendships and developing Forever Friends!
This article was written in January, 2012 by:
Richard M. Haney, M.Ed., Ph.D. (Counselling and Mediation)