Tag Archives: Friend

I Haven’t Been a Good Friend to You

29 Aug

Dear God,

I have realised that I haven’t been a good friend to You. I seek your company and Your guidance when I feel lost or unhappy, yet when everything is going well I barely give You a second thought.

I run to You in an emergency, I pour out my problems to You on my ‘bad’ days, and I expect You to be there for me every time I feel unhappy or unsatisfied.

And yet, I never thank You for the passing of all the beautiful days You give me. I forget to tell You how happy I am to have passed an interview, found a new home, or made a new friend. I take it for granted that the sky is blue and that the sun is warming my skin. I am blind to all the miracles You perform in my every day life.

I am beginning to realise just how much You do for me. Today, You reminded me to take my umbrella, because You knew it would rain; You whispered poems to the trees, which swayed to the rhythm of Your voice as I walked past. You cleared the clouds to help our tomatoes ripen in the sun, and You gave me ten minutes to drink my tea in stillness and in silence.

I am sorry for having taken You for granted for so long, and I am sorry for having been such a selfish friend. You have continued to give me love and care, despite my ingratitude; You have continued to give, despite not receiving anything in return; You have been loving me unconditionally.

I thank You for everything, and especially for helping me realise my ingratitude.

I promise to be a better friend to You from now on.

All my love,

Your (selfish) friend

I’ve Missed You, Dear Friend

1 Sep

Dear Reader, dear Friend,

It’s been almost a month since we last met. You’ve had no news from me and I have not had the chance to catch up on yours. I’m sorry for my absence; I’ve truly missed you and can’t wait to hear all about your summer. As for mine, it’s been both healing and inspiring…

I spent a month with the people I love, visiting my old homes and my old countries. I watched sunsets, made meals, picked mushrooms, dug earth, killed weeds, took photos and ate fresh fruit and veg. Tired of intellectual activity, I decided to become more active, to dedicate my time to people, rather than to ideas; to actions, rather than to words. I didn’t keep up with world news, I did not read newspapers or magazines, and I did not check my e-mails. Instead, I tried to be more aware of the small details immediately around me. How do my close ones feel? Is there anything I can do to help? Can I make an extra effort to put a smile onto someone’s tired face? What’s more important – doing something I enjoy, or spending that time bringing joy into my family’s life instead?

The less I paid attention to myself, the more I noticed others. The less I thought about society, the more I understood my family. The less I focused on what is expected of a person of my age, sex, race and social standing, the more I lived by instinct. The less I worried about other’s opinions of me, the more I was honest to myself.

Oh, how much I learnt from all of this! In the past month I tried to observe deeper than the skin, I tried to hear further than words, I tried to understand larger than actions. In the past month I wanted to connect not with the name, not with the image, not with the reputation, not with the status, not with the job title, not with the salary, not with the clothes label, not with the CV, not with the awards, not with the face…but with the soul.

I observed things differently and tried to see beyond the surface. I reached into each person and tried to understand them for the eternal being that they are. And when I did this, when I connected with each person’s soul, I found only one thing: love.

I remember reading somewhere that “Only love is real”. At the time, I believed this idea; now, I understand it.

This is not something that can be explained and it is definitely not a concept I could begin to try convey in words. As a teenager, I thought that my wisdom could come from text books, as a young adult, I thought that I would learn it through philosophers; now, I understand that the world’s most important lessons comes from life itself. If you haven’t yet seen, through the swaying of trees, through the laughter of a child or through the deep eyes of a passer by, that only love is real, don’t waste your nights reading philosophy books, just go out there and live: talk to everyone openly and honestly, give time and effort to your close ones, notice the small things that people do for you, see the positive side to every person and situation, and most importantly: love love love.

I’m quite stuck on what to say to you next, dear friend. I want to tell you so much. If you were here in front of me, sharing a glass of wine on my balcony, I would be waving my arms manically, talking so fast that my tongue couldn’t keep up and telling you…telling you everything right from the beginning. I’d have to go years back, to tell you about why I worried, why I was doubtful, why I was shy and insecure, why I was full of hate and frustration, why I lost hope, why and how I started believing again, why I started forgiving, why I began apologising, why I let go, and why I suddenly understood. But now, with not much space, I need to get to the essentials: everything passes, but only love remains.

Oh how I wish you were here with me, dear friend, so that we could take a walk in the park by my house. We would look at the soft sunlight radiating through the golden trees and you would tell me what is on your heart. I would be filled with peace and joy to realise that we understand one another; that two people, with different lives and different experiences, see something similar in all this worldly chaos. I would thank God for showing me that there are other people who see what I see, feel what I feel and believe what I believe. You are miles away, dear friend, but I am still grateful; grateful that you are honest, grateful that you share your soul with me and grateful that you are here, on this earth, at the same time as I am.

I am sorry for having been away so long. I hope that my letter wasn’t too much of a muddle. There are so many other things that I would like to share with you; so many ideas, feelings and, when words aren’t enough, images. I look forward to our weekly meetings; though you may be miles away, you mean a lot to me. Your words resonate in my mind and your visions change my own perception of the world. I understand that you too need ‘time off’, and although your temporary absence may sadden me, I only wish that you never stop writing, never stop sharing. There would be a whole in many people’s hearts if you do.

Speak very soon, my friend.

All my love,

xxx

Embracing the Unknown

30 Jun

Three weeks have gone past since my last post. A whirlwind of events, thoughts and feelings provoked a natural pause in any ‘creative’ activities. In the past three weeks summer arrived unexpectedly, friends came and went, I grew a year older, I gave my month’s notice of resignation, I was reunited with people who I haven’t seen for two years, I cut my hair shorter than it has ever been, I saw breathtaking sunsets, I cried from happiness on several occasions, I came across confusing and irrational conflicts, I prayed, I listened, I got unexpected answers from unexpected places.

I am once more at a time of the great unknown. Yet for the first time, I welcome the unknown like a friend. In the past few months, the unknown tested me, challenged me and took me out of my comfort zone. The unknown revealed parts of my character, both positive and negative, that I had never known; it revealed desires to which I had never admitted; and it made me stronger by showing me my weaknesses.

It is not in my perfectly planned and organised life that I learnt about myself, but it is in moments of uncertainty, of turbulence and of absolute incomprehension that I managed to grasp, even a little, at my true essence.

Our first meeting with the unknown is like our first meeting with silence. It seems like there is nothing but emptiness Footprints on Beacharound and no matter how loud we scream our questions, we get no answers, except for an echo, in return. Yet is is not from silence that we should expect a reply, it is being in silence that allows us to hear our own answers. In the same way, it is not the unknown that will guide us, but our inner guide that will emerge once we’re in it.

In today’s society, we’re used to receiving answers and advice from a variety of external sources, whether it’s a GPS, an agony aunt, Google or a phone call to a friend. We rely on other people to tell us how we feel, what decision to make and which route to take. Yet what would we do if we got lost in a foreign place with no street names, no map, no phone and no passers by to ask for directions? What if we had to find our way without any external help?

In the past few weeks I came across a problem to which I had no answers…about which I didn’t even have a clue. I needed help, advice, guidance, yet I couldn’t think of who or what could offer me help in such a situation. I felt that rationalisation, discussion and writing out pros and cons would not be good enough. This was not a matter that the mind could solve. This was a matter of the soul.

And so I prayed. I sat in silence and I searched for an answer deep within. And something unexpected, something that no one else would have advised, yet something that was so perfect for the situation came to me. My intuition gave me an answer that I couldn’t have received from anywhere else.

So today, I will rejoice in the unknown, because it is the unknown that makes me listen to myself, that helps me understand myself and that gives me freedom.

A quote has been running through my mind all these weeks, which truly captures the beauty of embracing the unknown:

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planed, so as to have the life that is waiting for us” ~ Joseph Campbell

Climb the Tree, Get the Fruit

22 Apr

There are those people who sit under a tree waiting for the fruit to fall down, and there are those who climb the tree to get the fruit themselves. The former group is passive: these types of people expect life to give them everything they want without making an effort to get it themselves. The latter group is active: they do not wait for opportunities – they make them; they see possibility in everything.

I have known both types of people. I had an acquaintance who spent his days regretting giving up the guitar: he was one of the most talented students in his music school, but decided not to pursue a musical career and picked a more academic subject to study at university. His regret for giving up a musical path would send him into depression every time he watched someone play the guitar. However, despite his ‘grief’, he did nothing to get himself onto the musical path once again. He had several guitars at home – he would never practice; he had connections with many musicians – he did not ask them for gig or concert opportunities; he had perfect pitch and a great knowledge of music theory – he did not try to find students to teach. In short, he expected opportunity to fall into his lap from the sky; he wanted to wake up one day and be a successful guitarist without the effort that goes into it. The people who expect miracles without putting in any work believe that they are victims of an unjust fate. Spending time with these people leaves you tired and lacking in energy, you start to become blind to the beauty of life.

As for the second group, I have been lucky to know many people who make their own opportunities and create their own fate. One friend choreographed and taught a dance for our university dance show, whilst having almost ten essays to write during the same time period of time – she managed to do both brilliantly. Another friend applies (and gets selected) to do unique programmes abroad each summer: Israel and Zimbabwe are two of the places where she has done study and research projects. A friend from school took a year out of university to live in Columbia and perfect his Spanish; “I want to plan my life in my own way. I don’t want a university course system or anything else to tell me that I can’t take great opportunities to do things like this”, he said. Other friends have run marathons, written plays and cycled across Europe. These people are full of energy, full of hope and full of optimism. It is not their ‘achievements’ that inspire so much as their love for life. It is their belief that life is abundant, life has given them everything and that all they have to do is just make the most of it.

I myself have been both of these types: there are times when I jumped at every opportunity and made opportunities for myself. But there were also times when I lacked motivation and energy, when I wanted to change aspects of my life, but took no action to do so. Now, during moments like these, I always try to think about the active people that I know:they would get their asses up and do something to create change. It could be the smallest change, but it is still something that gets life into motion, that stirs the universe and turns the wheels of our destiny. Thinking of these people reminds me that I have absolutely no excuses not to be living the life of which I dream.

Whenever you are feeling unmotivated, lacking in energy or in hope, think about someone who has inspired you, be it a friend, an acquaintance or a famous individual. Remember that one must climb the tree to get the fruit; the height may be scary and the braches may scratch you along the way, but the view is so much better from the top.