The Gift of Friendship

Can difficult times bring wisdom?

The gift of friendship. I have had a considerably difficult and challenging few years scattered out in different periods in my life. The difficulties I now perceive as gifts as the experiences have brought me to universal truths and wisdom. The initiation process of being shoved into shame and threatened into the loss of dignity was painful at times. Growth is not always comfortable, I may even be safe to say, growth is seldom or never comfortable. The superpower that has accompanied me and patiently fostered my ability to transcend through a difficult time and essentially shift my perception has been my significant other, family, friends, the delights in nature, such as the water, trees, plants and animals.

Relationships are treasures.

I have come to know my relationships and nature are my deepest treasures. It takes careful planning and commitment to foster relationships because, in this life we experience, there is a never-ending myriad of things to do.  We can spend hours and hours doing monotonous tasks, distracting ourselves by spending hours online, shopping, working, cleaning, drinking, using drugs and what-ever way we choose to distract ourself. Distraction is part of the human condition but can create a type of pothole for our personal development. Getting caught in a metaphorical pothole leaves us feeling alone, frightened and abandoned.

Some of our most painful endings are beautiful beginnings and they hide in the shadows.

I have been loved and supported in transforming the way I view the world, I want to talk about matters of the soul. What are matters of the soul and why is it important to talk about them?

Does letting go create peace?

Because developing the spiritual part of yourself can provide you with an anchor when the shit storm of life hits you. If you can a least have a sense of purpose and a goal in mind, you end up with a type of internal compass or way to take a personal inventory of how to proceed during times of trouble.  The next step might be doing nothing and expecting nothing in return in the storm period. The practice of letting go of an outcome, radically accepting your fate, taking a deep breath and holding on for dear life may place you in the eye of the storm which is calm and quiet.  After a few terrifying encounters with fear and vulnerability and a pinch of shame, I have found that practicing letting go has created the metaphorical space of the eye of the storm that minimizes the impact of the outcome.  In my mind when I thought I was in control of the situation, the perceived potential outcome was distressing. I also might call that the worst-case scenario.

Instead of isolating myself and withdrawing which has been my “go-to” strategy in my younger years, I would take a deep breath, connect with an aspect of the natural world and reach out to a loved one whether it be friend or family.  After awhile, my friends have become like family. There is a tendency in all of us through past experiences to withdraw and just get busier when the storm hits.  Isolating and withdrawing keep us small.  Not trusting others keeps us small. 

A one-time betrayal maybe the only reason for the lack of trust because betrayal stings like an angry wasp. Do not honour the distortion of betrayal. Embrace the lesson and move on.

Does connecting and allowing vulnerability make us feel happier and more connected?

According to the philosopher Alain de Botton, friends show how much they trust us by confessing failings and sorrows which would open them up to possible humiliation from the world beyond. A friend gives you the gift of vulnerability, which allows you to be vulnerable in return.

The ability to be vulnerable creates a space for us to connect with our humanity and by connecting with our humanity we can relax into the feeling of interconnectedness to all things.  Plugging into the interconnectedness of all things has made me feel less vulnerable because I feel protected by a universal wisdom far greater than myself.  I have been able to develop an ability to trust in the integration and let go in times of fear and uncertainty.

Are you able to show the vulnerable sides of yourself to others you trust?

You can reach out to a life-long friend after 30 years of minimal contact and it’s like you were never apart because of the intimacy you developed through your mutual vulnerability.

There are many ways of experiencing matters of the soul. I have adopted the following theoretical model for my practice or discipline used in the article, Understanding Harmony in the Nature & Interconnectedness, Self-regulation and Mutual Fulfillment among the Four Orders of Nature by Gupta Pandiri.

The ability to live in harmony with the four orders will provide human being with mutual fulfillment. There is a relationship of mutual fulfilment amongst these 4 orders. The 4 orders are as follows:

1. Physical order (soils, metals)

2. Plant order (trees, grasses, plants)

3. Animal Order (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians)

4. Human order (human beings)

The role of a human being is to realize this mutual fulfillment. For this, all that human beings need to do is:

To understand that mutual fulfillment is inherent in nature and we do not

have to create it. To live accordingly then the mutual fulfillment amongst the 4 orders will

be realized (and there is a provision in nature for living in a mutuallyfulfilling manner).

The interconnected and integration we all crave in humans is in uniting all of the orders.  The 21st century silent killer is loneliness separation and anxiety.  Could these be relived or alleviated in the four orders which are essential and not made by humans?

In essence I have come to know the solution to fear isolation and disparity was relieved by a primal return to the natural ways of balancing the matters of the soul through a discipline that connects the earth, tree, animals and us as humans in a cosmic dance of unity that will transcend us to beautiful mystical and magical places.

Do not underestimate the power in your relationships with all things, they will sustain you in this life. Opportunities for growth are brought in discomfort.

Thank-you to all of the beautiful souls who have walked beside me as my loved ones, you know who you are!

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