The Wisdomous : How to be a different friend!
Welcome to The Wisdomous - a friendly email sent to you every week to nourish your mental wealth. You will find micro-lessons from macro thinkers, a good story, awesome reads and some fun suggestions.
Hello, awesome people; I hope everything is going well for you. Everything is in order, and the decision to send it on a Saturday was made solely for the sake of experimentation.
At the beginning of this week, I received an angry text message from a friend who felt that I hadn't lived up to my promise of being a good friend by not being available when she needed me. She also felt that my request that she first arrange a phone call before she could speak to me had offended her. What she is saying makes sense to me. I don't get to invalidate how she feels, but it is all sorted after a call with her.
From my point of view, I wasn't a bad friend, but rather a different kind of friend - I may not have attached myself to the traditional responsibilities of friendship.
I am the friend who witnesses - if this is your first time hearing this, allow me to explain :
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.
I echo those words from David Whyte on friendships.
Rather than changing, I've been learning to build deep relationships by simply witnessing and being - after all, a friend is a need met.
However, it comes at a price, and as a result, I am picky about who I consider my friends. Numerous people in my life are only acquaintances.
So I'm not the kind of friend who will drop in on you every day, but my feelings for you will remain unchanged even if we don't speak for months at a time. So although you may not realise it, I will be watching over you and cheering you on from the sidelines. I will be present in more ways than you realise.
However, the point is that you might not be a bad friend at all, but rather a different kind of friend, and if you concentrate on learning what kind of friend you are and communicating that to others, it will be of guidance. There will be no misunderstandings, hurt feelings, or disappointments as a result.
Asking how you should treat someone you care about is love.
There’s no awakening without acknowledging your condition.
Listen to understand.
The moment you feel the urge to move and do something - count 5 seconds backwards and start the thing - before your brain asks you not to!
You deserve a love that takes away the lies and brings you illusion, coffee, and poetry.
Note To Self: Think of Other People A Little More: We over-communicate in an age of communication. We share our thoughts and daily happenings on Facebook, Tweet, post on Instagram, and meet for coffee. We are constantly communicating, yet we are also often feeling alone because when we communicate, we communicate about ourselves, what we’re doing, what we’re thinking. Rarely are we considering others, which - ironically - leaves us feeling isolated and alone?
Friendship by David Whyte
And a youth said, Speak to us of Friendship.
And he answered, saying:
Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
When your friend speaks his mind, you fear not the “nay” in your mind, nor do you withhold the “ay.”
And when he is silent, your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery us not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.
And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship, let there be laughter and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
The 4400: While it was exciting, the first episode felt rushed because there was a new twist every 5 minutes. The show is a reboot of the 2004 series, with a predominantly black cast.
The Way Back: Ben Affleck gives an outstanding performance as a high school football coach struggling with alcohol and his marriage in this sports drama.
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Until the next one, stay safe and sound!