Sunday, October 16, 2011

Old friends - new friends

I had the pleasure to get to know some new acquaintances more yesterday at a party we hosted. While I realize that we are going to have to put effort into making new friends since most people our age already have a circle of friends and with life being so busy they don't take the extra time to meet people I also am noticing that the word friend is really hard to describe. Growing up I did not have a best friend, I had a personality that made it hard to stick with people. I guess I do miss that feeling now especially when other people tell me about their best friend. While moving around in the world I made a lot of friends. Friends for life? I don't think so. Again, I was like a butterfly flying from one beautiful flower to the next one not sure whether to stay or not. Still, I made sure that from every country we went to, I kept one name at least and since we now all have FB it is easy to connect with them.
I once had a person in my inner circle that I felt was my closest friend I had ever made. She was always there for me and for the first time, I felt safe and ok to let my guards down every once in a while. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to trust and to have somebody else except my husband. I needed that since my other half has developed differently and we don't share the same views or thoughts most of the time. Then something happened and this friend chose to withdraw from me. I was heartbroken for the second time in my life and I believe I never have healed completely. Some things leave permanent scratches on your heart that not even time can mend.
I felt very isolated the last 4 years and this was because I chose to. I felt that it didn't serve any purpose to make new friends for life and became very black and white thinking. I found out too late how many good people were surrounding me at that time and felt sorry for them to have chosen the butterfly. While in hiding I concocted with one person more than with anybody else and she was a wonderful companion. But she was also very vulnerable and sometimes I felt that I couldnt burden her with my personality and held back.
When looking into the new faces yesterday I finally understand my friend the Dalai Lama who wrote on friendship " Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day."
By welcoming new faces into my world and not being worried that I couldn't fulfill their expectations or they couldn't fulfill mine, in fact by just not judging, I experienced real joy last night. I could see the people in their beauty, could see how much I can learn from them and that I could maybe even try to let them see behind the facade of me.  I also know that I might never experience the "best friend feeling" free of fear and that is ok. It is me. I am scared and excited at the same time. I am curious to find out more of the new faces. It is nice to be able to have enjoyed the night and not be hopeful for more. Just be present and soak up the liveliness that humans possess.
So I am thinking of throwing another party sooner than later and maybe open up more a bit, but I am not expecting anything in return. I had a great time and enjoyed the laughter beauty and light other people bring in my life.

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