A Lifetime Friend

I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light
Helen Keller

Mandy Hale, blogger turned New York Times best-selling author and speaker, says that there are two things we will never have to chase: true friends and true love. I am not sure whether “friends” and “love” are really two things or we might say that the thing is “love” and the other, i.e. friends, is one of its embodiments. Anyway, I would endorse another Mandy’s saying that it does not make any sense to try to extend a friendship that was only meant to be a season into a lifetime. True love never ends, so does true friendship; it has a lifetime warranty.

True love should be a discovery, an adventure, and like most adventures, we do not know that we are having one until we realize that we are right in the middle of it. Anthony de Mello once told a story about some people perishing from thirst on a raft off the coast of Brazil. They did not know that the water they were floating on was fresh water. The river was coming out into the sea with such a force that it went out for a long distance. Alas, perhaps they did not even try to taste the water out of their privation.

In the same way, we are surrounded with joy, with happiness, with love but most people do not have any idea of this whatsoever: we are surrounded with true love!

One might ask cynically: are we, then, surrounded with true friends too?
Yes, we are, but our focus is off the mark! We would prefer seasonal friend to lifetime friend. What is this seasonal friend? Everything or every person from whom we expect fulfillment of our needs. Here it is the logic: we try to chase and extend a friendship for good times and bad times (they say that is what friends are for), assuming a love out of habit. As a matter of fact, true friend is a discovery and any claim of the truthfulness of friendship is never confirmed or justified before one dies.

What is lifetime friend, then? It is precisely true love inhabited in our heart and in others’ heart. The more we focus on heart, the nearer we are to lifetime friend. If we focus on other things, we are dealing with seasonal friends: feelings, tools, persons, attachments, proprietary, status, etc. Most people chase them and then even confine them formally, legally, institutionally: marriage, for example.

Marriage is supposed to be a bond of two lifetime friends. Unfortunately, there are many cases that show the fragility of marriage: because they do not really focus on their lifetime friend; instead, they are very busy with any other than the hearts that communicate with each other. So, just befriend heart, it will end the dark and you are not alone in the light.

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