A friend is one that knows who you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still gently allows you to grow. (Shakespeare)
Although days, weeks, and months may go by without contact with the kind of friends Shakespeare describes above, I know that these precious people are with me. No matter where we may happen to be in the world or how long since we’ve corresponded, they are with me just as surely and lovingly as I am with them.
Although time, distance, and circumstances constantly change and acquaintances come and go playing various valuable roles in life, it is my experience that the truest and dearest friends do not. They are timeless and eternal.
Although it is natural to reach out at times to make enjoyable contact or express care and concern as circumstances dictate, friends already know and trust that you care. On the deepest levels, they know that all is “good” between them just as it always has been and always will be. Why? Because friends know deeply who you are.
Deeply connected in soul and spirit, these friends know that whatever is most appropriate, timely, and mutually agreeable will emerge. There is no tug-o-war, no one-upmanship, and no power differential to worry about or contend with. It is a flexible but enduring bond of spirit-filled equals.
Whether a carefully cultivated friendship or, more likely, an instantaneous connection in which two souls see the beauty in one another and vibrate at the same exhilarating frequency, there is an abiding trust and faith that transcends any challenges imposed by time, space, or circumstance. Miscommunication and misunderstanding are impossible and there is never a ticking on the scoreboard of petty neglects or offences. True friends know, trust, and believe in one another regardless of (often because of!) what others might consider mistakes, shortcomings, or human imperfection.
Ironically, but commonsensically, these are the cherished friendships in which both parties may confidently take each other for granted, knowing that they can take up exactly where they left off after the briefest update.
How is this possible? Why are some friendships like this when others take constant upkeep, deliberation, and effort? I believe that it is simply (and magically!) a matter of deep knowing and trusting what is in one another’s heart. A true friendship does not take “work.” It is not based on fear, insecurity, or control, but the deepest, most faith-filled love and trust.
I am so fortunate to have friends who know my heart and allow me to know theirs with this warm and comforting kind of love and trust. I am very blessed to have friends who are family and family who are friends. This is my small but precious Shakespearean circle of loved ones. Together, as Shakespeare so aptly describes, we know who we are, understand where we have been, accept what we have become, and still gently allow each other to grow.
May we forever enjoy and be deserving of one another’s love and take for granted that sacred, spontaneous, and interdependent trust.