Monday, September 05, 2011
The Hard Work of Being a Friend
Friends have always been important to me, and at the same time, friendship has often been difficult.How many of us think of friends as "resources" of some sort? They are who we turn to when we need help. To whom to they turn? Then there is the issue of "differently yoked." It often seems like in a friendship there is one person that seems to bear the burden of making it work - does all the inviting, thinking of things to do, etc. If you are that person, do you grow resentful of that fact?
I'm beginning to understand that friendships aren't "just" friendships. Friendships (and the work of cultivating them) are a form of spiritual discipline, just like prayer or scripture reading or mindful eating. When I don't pray, my spirit suffers. When I don't spend time reading the Word, my spirit/mind become impoverished. When I don't eat mindfully, my spirit/body become stressed and broken. And when I don't practice the art of friendship, my spirit begins to turn in on itself.
I really like this idea, friendship is in fact a resource, but not the resource we think. It is a resource to teach us selflessness - which is in fact the thing we need to learn most.
It is often easy to just stay at home, not reach out and find ways to occupy myself. It is easier than reaching out, not to mention the fact that I can feel sorry for myself that no one has bothered to call and ask me if I want to do something.
BUt that is the time I most need to reach out, because it is not about me.