For many years, I had black or white friendship circle. Quite simple. People are either very close to me, in my inner circle, or outside of that circle. I had set of expectations towards my friends. I used to be very frustrated when friends didn’t behave in the way I expected they would behave.
As time passed by, I learned to somehow control myself. As long as they don’t cause me any problem, I am happy to share a portion of my life with them. I still had a lot of expectations towards my friends once they are stepped into my inner circle.
Recently, I learned to allow people to be. Instead of putting them into categories, I allowed them to be. In return, I was freed from the restriction I had for my own.
The only way to have a friend is to be one.Ralph Waldo Emerson
During some of the difficult times of my life, I always had someone there who would walk through with me. It might be a friend. It might be a group of friends. This time, during the incident of my father, it was a number of friends who just turned up suddenly from no where.
True friendship resists time, distance and silence.Isabel Allende
As I was so caught up and destructed by the reality, I didn’t really reach out for support. I had my family nearby and I thought it was my family problem so we, as a family unit, will handle it.
I briefly told my supervisor, who probably know me better than myself, because I thought I need some space and time to deal with it which will somewhat delay my study. I told close by colleagues about my father admitting to the emergency department, just like a matter of fact. I still wonder to this date, why I did what I did at the time.
A true friend is someone who is there for you when he’d rather be anywhere else.Len Wein
Since then, majority of days, my supervisor sent me a text everyday, even though she had things happened in her life too. I really appreciate her quick education sessions too! Close by colleagues asked every time as I enter my office about my father. A friend and colleague said “call me anytime you like” just before I run to the hospital for my father’s surgery. I have also received several text messages from friends of Buddhism practice after they received a message from my sister-in-law.
True friends are like diamonds – bright, beautiful, valuable, and always in style.Nicole Richie
Those who make many friends have greater opportunities for growth and self-development; they make society a better place and lead happy, satisfying lives.
In every situation, human relations – communication and personal interaction – are vital.
We need to initiate and nurture friendships and contacts with many people, both within the organisation and in society at large.
Our lives will open and be enriched to the extent that we do so.Daisaku Ikeda
When I allowed friends to be, I allowed myself to be. When I allowed myself to be, I allowed myself to receive support from friends. Previously, I thought receiving support is showing my weakness to others. Showing my weakness to others means that I gave permission for them to attack that part of me. Therefore, I should not show my weakness to others.
Now, I think receiving support is to keep me going. Having such a support when I needed is my strength in life because with such support, I am still moving forward. My heart is still strong. In this sense, I now believe that showing my vulnerability is not showing my weakness. Instead, it is showing others that I need help and where they can offer their support. With their support, I am developing further to gain strength so when someone needs a support, I can offer that support to them in return.
One of my seniors once used an analogy of an engine or pedals on a bicycle. “If you can imagine a engine with piston and cylinders or pedals on a bicycle. There will be times when you feel strong and there will be times when you feel very low. When you feel low, I help you get up. When I feel low, you help me get up. Giving or receiving support is just like that. That’s a true friendship to me.”
When do you realise the value of your friendships?
What does true friendship mean to you?
How do you initiate a true friendship?