Why is it that we ignore the ones who adore us and adore the ones who ignore us? Why is it that we love the ones who hurt us, and hurt the ones who love us? Why is that we have no faith in the ones who know us best and yet seemingly have faith in ones who barely know us? All of these questions relate to the dynamics of all kinds of friendships which may be at many different levels at a given time. The simple answer is, of course, respect… or lack thereof. Having another’s best interests at heart places us in a position of love that is beyond any kind of physical attraction or selfish desire to be with that person. Instead, it means obeying the laws of the highest levels of respect and sharing an emotional connection that transcends any association we may have with other people.
A true friendship is one in which nobody keeps score. Nobody has to. Nobody feels the need to because nobody wants to. It is a friendship in which the love shared is at such a high level that both people can recognize and acknowledge a “special connection” that seemingly manifests itself over and over again. It’s the kind of link between two people where the little things matter most because it is understood that the big things are pretty much covered. This person will be the one who forgives you when you think that even your parents will change the way they look at you. This will be the person who you know you can tell anything to because they will bury it in the depths of their heart and never let it out even if they’ve moved on in their life far into the future. In the spirit of second chances, this is person who will not count the ones they give you nor will they let you feel like you are being given one. So then, what do you owe in this kind of friendship?
Answer: YOURSELF. I’m talking about your real self. If you truly love this person, learn from them, but also be their teacher; let them guide you, but also be their adviser; look up to them, but also be the one they admire most; forgive them unconditionally, but also do nothing that would place them in that miserable precarious position; benefit from them spiritually, but also bring them closer to God. Keep them in check using love and forgiveness, not vindictiveness and begrudging judgement. Never allow your friendship to take turns; meaning always stay consistent to the point where you can practically predict your friend’s next move because of your reliance on their morality and ethical value system. That friend will always be there, even if you seemingly lose everything.
Sometimes it takes losing everything to gain one important thing – yourself. Stay vigilant and choose wisely, my friends. “A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure.” – Sirach 6:14
“An honest answer is the sign of true friendship.” – Proverbs 24:26