I have been blessed with some wonderful and true friends over the years. There is a depth to our friendship that goes beyond time and space. They are always there for me and everytime we connect it is as if no time has passed and no physical distance was ever there.
I have found that there are some very distinct characteristics to a true friendship. Here they are:
1. There is never any misunderstanding between friends.
This quality comes from
2. A complete acceptance of one another the way each one is.
3. Friends are imperfect human beings who do not need to put on a false appearance between themselves. Imperfections are shown and are accepted. Age, nationality, language, color, interests are immaterial between friends.
4. Friends pick up where they left off as if they have been with each other in the interim. There is very little catching up to do in the realm of the spirit.
5. A friend can tell you what they think about you in any given situation and it is possible to accept the harshest criticism because you just know that your friend speaks from a space of deep connection. No pretenses needed, no secrets needed, never any hard feelings, never any doubts about intentions.
6. Friends love you more when you slip and fall. They laugh and cry with you. They tend to your wounds and hug and kiss you during your tough times. Their presence is felt even from across the oceans.
7. Friendships are made in heaven! I never chose my friends - they came to me as blessings of the Universe.
8. Loving a friend does not need outward expression. Friends love one another unconditionally.
9. A word between friends is sacred. That is the nature of friendship not of people. A friend knows what can and cannot be repeated.
10. A friend never dies. There is an attachment that is so much deeper than the physical presence. This connection cannot be set asunder. It is true friendship that proves the truth in Oneness.
I want to acknowledge my friends for giving me this insight into what relationships are truly about. I have quite a few acknowledgments but the one I must put on the top of my list is my dearest Baba. If not for his passing I would never have recognized the depth of true Oneness of the soul. We are together always. He is my dearest friend - he was in life and continues to be after his passing too.
Padu - you are my most cherished gift. You have shown me my strengths and my weaknesses with so much insight and so much love. We touch each other without ever touching one another! I love you dearly.
Rekha - you are my greatest cheer leader. Your humility, your honesty, your acceptance of me as I am is what I cherish so dearly.
Nina - In spite of your pain you give me so much support. I cannot imagine how you can be so much of a giver while claiming to have so little joy yourself. There is a connection between us that is inexplicable.
Swati - Acceptance - one must learn this from you. We hardly get a chance to talk, or be together or connect in any way - but when I reach out you are always there. Your emails and messages are always perfectly timed!
There are some others who are my great friends and have come into my life and given of themselves unconditionally. They have been instrumental in getting me to where I am today and on top of this list is my dear friend Linda. She is one person who always makes me feel special.
I am blessed with a family who have grown to become my best friends. My brother - our relationship is mostly a silent one. We are both lovers of silence, music and the written word. I learnt the value of writing from him. We spent very little time together even when we were growing up so his letters were my greatest connection to him. He is another cheer leader of mine - silently loud! I love you dearly.
The greatest love of my life - my husband - without whose unswerving support I do not know what kind of a person I would be. No matter what I do, say, or think his acceptance of me is unshakable. We disagree about many things and yet he is there dying to fight my battles and protecting me from the 'evil world.' I am probably his only friend. I love you more than life itself.
As for my two greatest joys - my sons and now my friends. Frank, open, mincing no words, loving me unconditionally. Their love for me is tangible - and not just because I am Mom and they should, but because they are who they are. I can talk to them about anything and I always come out having learnt something new! I have learnt more from my sons than I have from my parents - I take pride in saying so. I love you both very much. Your happiness is my joy. Be happy.
I am left wondering why I am unable to put my Maa on this list. Maybe because we have never really been friends. From her I learnt most of my values. For years she was on a pedestal and over the years her painful life has created a wall around her that is almost tangible. She never gives fully and receives even less. Seeing her as a friend is not possible for me. She is Maa and I love her dearly.
There are many I know with the potential to becoming true friends. As we get to know one another, our love, respect, acceptance will grow. In a few years my list may be longer.
I am also my own true friend. The one I am still discovering.
I end with my greatest friend - Writing.
I love you all dearly - unconditionally.
UPDATE: In the last couple of months I have had the good fortune of reconnecting with my classmates from elementary school and college. The bond between old friends is proof that Oneness is the only Real Truth. The connection is felt not just by the senses but by the depth of our very existence - the intangible yet ever present Soul.
I have also recognized that the friends who may not have been true to me and others to whom I may not have been true myself are just as closely connected to me as the true ones. I am one with them too - they have taught me valuable life lessons and helped me delve deeper into my own Spirit and find God. I will forever be grateful to them and wish them the very best in life.
May you, my friends, always have Love, Peace, Abundance, Wellbeing and Oneness as your constant companions.