Human beings are made for friendship. The company of others makes our lives warmer, more light-filled, and resonant.
Friends can surface qualities in us that otherwise stay submerged. They bring out our tenderness or our wit, maybe our rebelliousness and our generosity. This harmonic resonance between compatible human beings is part of what makes friendship wonderful.
Some friends make us laugh – these friends are a treasure. Some friends give us room for the deeps inside, these being the ones who understand the inky waters of our hearts better than anyone else.
Friends reflect to us pieces of our own nature, facets of the multidimensional jewel that every human being is. Knowing others, we know ourselves better. Each kaleidoscopic expression of a human soul helps us appreciate all humans. The fact that we are made like this is, in my mind, a cause for celebration, gratitude and joy.
In order to have friends, we have to be friends, to activate the Friend Archetype inside. Just as only a Lover can be loved, only a Friend can be friends with another Friend.
What is involved in being a friend? One way of thinking about it is that we must be available, adequately ready to share who we are with another. Our perspectives, our heart qualities, our instincts, must be accessible, relatively close to the surface.
The only trouble with this is that to open ourselves to flow in an outward direction, sourcing from what’s inside us and heading to what looms out there, isn’t always easy. To open that gate requires some courage, some willingness to feel the waters of emotion flowing through us.
Opening the gate also means that we open up to receiving, to potentially allowing another person’s energies to touch us, to interface with us, to change us. I don’t know about you, but I’m not always in the mood. Many days my trust is low and my expectations even lower. I don’t always have capacity. Sometimes I’m weary, recovering from the blows of life.
But human beings are social animals, and we need to be among others of our own kind to feel complete. Mirror neurons show us that we are wired for empathy and to be attuned to the nervous systems of others. Our hardwiring for connection and communion in a tribal network of beings is an important aspect of the human experience.
But we are also made for individuality, sovereignty, autonomy. To be always free in our own consciousness streams to choose the direction of our thoughts, feelings, and actions. To choose to merge in friendship from a place of loving communion is a choice.
There is wisdom in our psychological, physical distinctness from every other human. It’s what makes friendship possible, that we choose to come together and relate, and then choose to part again when the energies feel complete with that exchange. Psychological fusion with another is not the goal.
On the painful side, our distinctness is why we can be lonely in our own skins, why merging with the essence of another through shared moments of understanding, prolonged eye contact, a shared funny bone, can feel rare.
Many of us also know what it feels like to be utterly isolated, fogged in, as though sealed into a weather system of our own misery, locked into a pocket of the universe where no light rays can find us. We can become as though fully disconnected and separate, and in this state we suffer immeasurably.
In such times, where is friendship? Mystics from the Sufi tradition refer to God many times as “the Friend”, as one of the many names you can use to think about God.
I love that idea, and it reflects my experience. In my most friendless times, I discovered the Friend within, both the one I am and the one that God is, and the fact that we are actually the same at some level of being.
Loneliness gives us a reason to make friends with ourselves. If we want to experience true deep and loving friendship “out there”, then we need to also experience friendship internally, as our insides must match the outsides to be sustainable co-creators.
We are God in our innermost nature, and God is our Friend. So we are the Friend as well. When we choose friendship as a mode of relating, we both bring more friends into our own lives, and offer more of the vibration of friendship to the world.
And looking around the world today, it seems to me it sure could use a friend.
Thanks for reading!