When I look back at all the events and circumstances in my life that have made me who I am today, I can’t help but feel a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for all those men and women who have walked this path with me. The truth is, without their friendship, love, and support, I simply could not have made it this far.
This includes not only my closest and most intimate friends, but also clients, colleagues, workshop participants, teachers, mentors and coaches or anyone else, no matter how brief our encounter was, who became a witness to my existence and expression. This includes you, who week after week invest your precious time in reading, listening or watching what I create along the way.
To you, and to everyone who is walking this path with me, THANK YOU. Thank you for being part of this community dedicated to listening to and following their heart. Thank you for your leadership, and deep desire to make a bigger impact in the world. Thank you for your trust, and your support.
In this my last post of 2015, I’d like to share with you David Whyte’s deepest reflection on what friendship truly means for people who, like you and me, are following The Path of the Heart. As the year comes to an end, any time you invest appreciating the friends you have and the ones you’ve lost, and dreaming about the ones your heart is longing for, will be time well spent. For, as David reminds us, “the journey is impossible to accomplish alone.”
by David Whyte
FRIENDSHIP is a mirror to presence and a testament to forgiveness. Friendship not only helps us to see ourselves through another’s eyes, but can be sustained over the years only with 2015 Year End Message: The True Meaning of Friendshipsomeone who has repeatedly forgiven us for our trespasses as we must find it in ourselves to forgive them in turn. A friend knows our difficulties and shadows and remains in sight, a companion to our vulnerabilities more than our triumphs, when we are under the strange illusion we do not need them. An undercurrent of real friendship is a blessing exactly because its elemental form is rediscovered again and again through understanding and mercy. All friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness. Without tolerance and mercy all friendships die.
In the course of the years a close friendship will always reveal the shadow in the other as much as ourselves, to remain friends we must know the other and their difficulties and even their sins and encourage the best in them, not through critique but through addressing the better part of them, the leading creative edge of their incarnation, thus subtly discouraging what makes them smaller, less generous, less of themselves.
Friendship is the great hidden transmuter of all relationship: it can transform a troubled marriage, make honorable a professional rivalry, make sense of heartbreak and unrequited love and become the newly discovered ground for a mature parent-child relationship.
The dynamic of friendship is almost always underestimated as a constant force in human life: a diminishing circle of friends is the first terrible diagnostic of a life in deep trouble: of overwork, of too much emphasis on a professional identity of forgetting who will be there when our armored personalities run into the inevitable natural disasters and vulnerabilities found in even the most ordinary existence…
Friendship transcends disappearance: an enduring friendship goes on after death, the exchange only transmuted by absence, the relationship advancing and maturing in a silent internal conversational way even after one half of the bond has passed on.
But no matter the medicinal virtues of being a true friend or sustaining a long close relationship with another, the ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the self nor of the other, the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.”
Enjoy the New Years Celebration, and I look forward to deepening our friendship in 2016, when I’ll be back with more opportunities for us to connect heart to heart.
Let’s see what we can create together!
PP. Question for you: What topics would you like to learn more about in 2016? Connect with me and let me know, and I will do my best to help!
Picture by Ravikanth Kurma