16 Jan Friendship
There’s a beautiful story about a man who came to his teacher when his son was deathly ill. He came crying and begging for him to help. “Please help me,” he said. “Please pray for a cure for my son, so that he might live.” His teacher went into mediation, did everything he possibly could, but the gates were closed. He came back to the father, and told him, “I’m so sorry, there is nothing I can do.” The man in total despair, turned around and started to drive his chariot down the cold road to his home. Then all of the sudden the teacher had a thought, grabbed his coat, jumped on his own horse, caught up with the man, and said.. “If I can’t help you, at least I can cry with you.”
Sometimes, helping a friend is just having a consciousness. What does this person need right now? What is it that I can do at this moment? Sometimes, it simply means feeling their pain with them.
We exist, we are here in this universe for deep connection. If we let ourselves, the culture we have created, will lure us into believing that we can live happily at home while “connecting” to “friends” on facebook, or via text messages. We don’t exist for this kind of connection. We are not here to close ourselves off to pain, or react with fear, or to find solace in meaningless connection. We live to overcome difficult situations, so that we can connect even deeper. And it’s only when we can see our challenges as stepping stones, leading us to deeper caring relationships/friendships, that we can learn what it feels like to be truly happy.
The idea that we are here to connect is in a way defiant of our ‘disconnected’ culture. To love someone means:
- Being an active listener. Admitting when we don’t understand, and asking until we do.
- Making sure our consciousness is genuine – that we are acting without agenda. Sometimes, as described in the story above, it’s just about crying with someone. Consciously caring is being sensitive at each passing moment, deciding how you can help..even if it’s just a shoulder, or even if it’s nothing at all.
- Feeling another’s pain. Preparing ourselves to feel the pain that they’re feeling. Making sure the words we speak are infused with our sincere suffering. Words themselves are only a cup. They carry the consciouness and energy of what we feel. But if words are beautiful and empty, there is no point in speaking them. We have to feel the pain of people.
- Not talking about how much we love another person, but show them by giving.
To be a true friend doesn’t mean:
- Giving to those who don’t have the capacity to love back. It isn’t our mission to fix people who are too busy feeling their own pain to give to another. We will always face ppl who take from us – and it’s not our mission to solve problems for them. This is a dynamically hard concept to absorb (for me personally). But true, nonetheless.
- Asking what they have, so they can give to us. We must ask what they don’t have, so we can give to them.
These are a few of my favorite things🙂 These are the things we need to focus on as individuals, so we can become a peaceful, loving, truly happy community, happy culture, happy world. It is the one key that opens life up to meaning.
ONE MORE STORY (thanks to the kabbalah video I watched today). There were two friends who lived in the same village. The king sentenced one of the men to death because he failed to pay taxes on time. The man was ready to accept his fate, but he pleaded with the king to see his family one last time, for one day only. And he promised to come back the following day. He gave the king his word, but the king did not believe him. So the man’s friend spoke up, and said, “Take me, and hold me in your prison, and if my friend does not return as he states he will, you can execute me in his stead.” The king agreed to this, and the man left to say goodbye to his family.
The following day, the time came when the man should have been back, and he hadn’t arrived. The king had the friend taken from the prison cell, and gave order for him to be executed, when the man came riding as fast as he could on his horse, and stopped the execution. He approached the knight who was about to kill his friend, he asked the king to let his friend go. He was there now, and it was he who had not paid his taxes on time. But, his friend spoke up, and pleaded to the king to spare his friend, and to proceed with taking his life instead. The man with unpaid taxes told his friend that he was crazy, and to move out of the way – it was he who deserved to die. And at that, they began to fight, to bicker back and forth about who should be the one to be killed.
Well, the king, he looked at the two bickering friends, and after some time, he let them both go free. He told them — it looks as though if I kill one, I actually kill two.
This is how life goes. Who would you die for? And if that seems extreme to you, who would you stand up and fight for with total love, without any agenda?
Or, how about the challenge I’m faced with currently..who would you let go of, knowing you weren’t doing them any good by remaining?
That’s my challenge. Right now, I have a friend who is hurting. And, while I want so much to be there for her (especially knowing that I can easily make her smile), I know that removing myself is going to help her the most in the long run. Not my own personal happiest moment. But I’m feeling confident in my choice.
It’s important to me that she knows, however, how blessed I feel to have met her, and what an amazing friend she has been for me. She embodies what it means to love (as I wrote above)..she is a deeply kind, loving, connected, spiritual woman. A true friend.
Been a looooong time since I’ve written.. thanks for reading!