This afternoon I took a walk at the bird refuge, and as I walked in the icy wind, I thought about friendship. I wondered if one can ever be the friend another needs, or if we can only be the friend we ourselves need. Is the filter of the ego so strong that it cannot allow the possibility that the friendship I need is not that which my friend needs?
I began by wondering if friendship is just friendship, and it’s all the same, and I arrived at the thought that although the underlying energy of friendship is love, and love is love, pure and simple, the expression of it isn’t at all simple. Nor is it “the same.” I think we filter that which we receive and give by our own experiences and our own needs that have arisen from them. For example, I sometimes want a friend to whom I can speak honestly, who will hear me and respond. I don’t need to be told what to do. I just need to know I have been heard and understood. At other times, just being in the presence of a kindred spirit is enough, no talk needed.
But someone else, who has lived their own life and had their own experiences, may not want to share much at all, just spending time with the energy of a person who appreciates them is enough. Another person might want to tell their stories to another, know they’ve been heard and commented upon and not really respond too much to any one else’s stories. Perhaps their need is to go deeper than current or past experiences, to a place where the current runs strong, with little conversation. My question is, am I able to recognize another person’s need?
This reminds me of a friend from over forty years ago. We were young women together, before children or marriages. She was so dear to me, and even attended the birth of my first child. I saw no end in sight for the friendship, until it abruptly ended. She told me that she would never deny what we had, but it was over. She had just joined Scientology when this happened, and remains with them today, so that may explain the ending of the friendship. The point is that it didn’t occur to me at the time that sometimes a friendship has its season and can retreat without any event precipitating its end and without any hard feelings. I saw this woman about five years ago and we had a lovely reunion. I don’t expect to ever see her again, and that’s okay. She was right. We had the time we had and that was enough.
As I’ve grown older, I think my friendships have deepened. I need to speak my truth, and I think my friends feel the same. I try to speak with clarity, honesty, and love. Sometimes the clarity gets in the way a little bit, but really, who has time for dodging around? As long as you speak from a point of neutrality, grounded in love, not judgement, I think it ought to be just fine. But maybe I just think that because it’s what I think. Maybe, I am not being the friend another needs because I can only imagine friendship from my own point of being. This is beginning to seem like a spiraling rabbit hole, so I’ll stop. But I’ll continue to think about it, and wonder about it. Maybe even write about it again.
Have a love-ly week.