Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The gift of friendship

Siddarta, the founder of Buddhism wrote in the 4th century B.C., “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

In my teens and early twenties, I taught skiing. Teaching something I loved improved my skiing ability. The more I taught, the better I became at teaching something I loved.

It was a never ending circle of reciprocity. When I focus my thinking on that which is loving and caring, powerful and true for me, I create a world of loving care, a loving world where all things are possible, where healing unites hearts, where spirit unfolds wings, where friendship lights up my life with joy and laughter.

Yesterday, a woman I met through Choices came over for a walk and dinner. We don't know each other well. Our paths have crossed at Choices, I coached in one session with her, and we shared dinner at a friends not long ago. We spent a delightful evening chatting, exploring our common and not so common ground.

Through sharing openly our experiences, we built a foundation for a friendship that we both want to nurture. In sharing, we expanded our worldview to include the possibility of a new friendship in time. We lit a candle of friendship that will light our paths for however long the candle burns. The light from our individual candles will never be diminished, but our paths will be illuminated more brightly through the shared light of the friendship we have begun.

Frederick Koenig wrote, “We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”

I am very blessed in my life. I have friends whom I love and I know love me. They have stood by me when I faltered. Applauded me when I soared high. They have lifted me up when I fell down, and leaned against me in their times of need as I shared my strength and courage with them.

Friendship is the gift that never ends. It is a gift filled with love and laughter, a reflection of the heart shining through the eyes of love. Friendship, like happiness, never decreases when shared. It makes the world a brighter place.

In honour of my friends, old and new, I celebrate your courage, strength and wisdom. I dance in the light of your laughter, joy and love. I soar confidently on unfurled wings filled with the breath of gratitude. Beneath their mighty span I am sheltered from stormy weather, lifted up in times of sorrow, and forever carried on the love you share so freely. You are an awesome gift.

Cicero, a 1st Century B.C. scholar, writer, statesmen and lawyer wrote, “Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.”

Thank you my friends. I am a better friend through living in friendship with you.

The question is: Do you count your friends as a blessing? Do you bless your friends with the gift of your laughter and joy, dancing in appreciation of the gift of friendship that brings happiness to your life today?


CZBZ said...

"Do you count your friends as a blessing? Do you bless your friends with the gift of your laughter and joy, dancing in appreciation of the gift of friendship that brings happiness to your life today?"

Boy, I sure do! Anyone who has been flat on their face with both fists in the air, values those folks who trust them to get back on their feet. I appreciate your friendship, Louise. You've seen me at my worst and we're still friends.

What could be more validating than people who empathize with us, love us enough, want friendship with us enough to give us the benefit of the doubt? I can't tell you how comforting it has been to have friends who encourage one other to take risks, to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. Having a friend who is not judgmental, who is forgiving and compassionate because she treats herself the same way, allows us to keep trying to be the person we're meant to be despite the obstacles in our path.

I love you, Louise. Hope you always know that. You helped me believe in myself and what more could anyone say about the importance of Girlfriends in the day and age of heartless bitches and wicked witches who pretend their rigidity is reverential? LOL

I've been run through the wringer by a few people I counted to be my friends and by gosh, they weren't. So here's to Good Friends who love one another "warts and all" and recognize a soft heart as a tender victory. They prolly know that soft heart because they have one themselves.

It's tempting to become cynical, vindictive and bitter and to lie to ourselves about our behavior.'s dangerously easy to become just as gnarly as the old narcissist or sociopath, indifferent to other people's suffering.

That's why I say the 'tender victory of the soft heart'. We harden ourselves in order to free ourselves from abusive relationships; and then, we diligently work on liberating our hearts from the armor we needed to protect us during the thick of the battle.

You ol' softie you!


M.L. Gallagher said...

Carolyn my wordy worldly friend -- I love you too!

You never cease to fill my day with wisecracks and wise words -- a double dynamite wordfest!

Thank you for teaching me how to cook with a frilly apron and laugh from the bottom of my tender lil' 'ol softie heart!

Love you right back.