When we begin to open our eyes and hearts to the level of addiction that has existed in our lives sometimes its tempting to declare "Well no one has ever loved me! True friendship is a fallacy."
Even if we don’t admit it, deep down, many of us feel cynical about love and friendship. All the little hurts have added up and while we may not say it out loud a part of us has become hard.
But for most of us there have been people - amongst the comings and goings, the growing and learning phases in our lives - who have extended the hand of friendship our way.
These special people can pass us by if we want to hold onto our grief and pain, if we want to blame and be victims.
It happens because we get angry instead of sad.
We get angry because we hurt and don't want to know it. We don't want to open up again, to feel how alone and sad and friendless we felt before, when our feet were small and hearts tender.
I know this because I have been there.
Sometimes the hurt of feeling friendless, abandoned, unloved and unimportant feels too much and I just want to hold onto angry disillusionment instead.
And if you are like me, then when we do this, when we shut down in this way, we not only miss the chance to receive the gifts and gratitude of true friendship but we also prevent ourselves becoming true friends to others.
When we are willing to be humble to the pain we feel, we will stop trying to have those around us alleviate it, and begin to have something to give.
Before this can happen however we will need to stop blaming others, we will stop waiting for the world to make things fair and safe for us to share and speak and be ourselves.
We will have to ask –
Do I want to be true even if others aren’t?
Do I want to give more than I want to justice?
How much do I want to love?
The story of ‘Through the Mists’ shows us many beautiful examples of friendship in action, not the least of which is Fred’s own life. Fred was a lonely man while on earth, he lacked love and support from almost everyone in his society yet he lived his life in service and friendship to those less fortunate. His humility made him not full of self but of compassion; his integrity made him willing to risk ridicule in order to live by the principle of love he aspired to.
I have learnt that to be a true friend I will require humility. It may mean taking steps that feel risky.
But mostly to be your friend I will have integrity. I will honour love and truth above my image or comfort.
And in this I will serve as a matter of course.
Who has been a friend to you in your childhood or life today? What did they teach you about life and love?