You’ve got a friend in me
You’ve got a friend in me
You’ve got troubles, and I’ve got ’em, too
There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you
We stick together and we see it through
‘Cause you’ve got a friend in me
You’ve got a friend in me – Randy Newman
As the conversation flowed effortlessly between us at one point I looked over at my companion and I had an acute moment of realization. Our discourse on a myriad of topics was compelling, informative and engaging. Two adults with literally a lifetime of history conversing like forever friends. The realization? This marvelous, enlightening conversation amongst good friends was between my son and me. Yes, all the other dynamics like parent and offspring exist but somewhere along the line we have, in fact, begun to connect with each other as good friends.
I feel incredibly blessed with those I have experienced as a friend in my life. Every stage and station in my journey I have had the good fortune to connect with people who have become fascinating, humorous, deep friends. We are all shaped by the people in our lives and I feel so incredibly fortunate to have learned so much from a wide array of friends. I feel eternally grateful for the friends that I have been able to stay connected with or reconnect with through the years. And conversely I miss those friends that I’m not presently sharing the journey with due to distance, disturbance or death.
Poet David Whyte, whom I am presently working with on our upcoming Lansing Lee Conference at Kanuga, writes this about friends:
But no matter the medicinal virtues of being a true friend
or sustaining a long close relationship with another,
the ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement,
neither of the other nor of the self,
the ultimate touchstone is witness,
the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another,
to have walked with them and to have believed in them,
and sometimes just to have accompanied them
for however brief a span,
on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.
Companionship for the journey…mutually being seen and heard…fidelity and forgiveness…transformative rather than transactional – all the hallmarks of friendship. I believe it is most aptly described by Jesus of Nazareth, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13
May you be blessed with good friends.
May you learn to be a good friend to yourself.
May you be able to journey to that place in your soul where
there is great love, warmth, feeling, and forgiveness.
May this change you.
May it transfigure that which is negative, distant, or cold
May you be brought in to the real passion, kinship, and
affinity of belonging.
May you treasure your friends.
May you be good to them and may you be there for them;
may they bring you all the blessings, challenges, truth,
and light that you need for your journey.
May you never be isolated.
May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with your
– John O’Donohue (anam ċara meaning “soul friend”)