The wedding I wrote about in the previous post was more than a wedding for me. I came away from it contemplating the nature of the connections with my friends. I was struck by their solid nature and uplifting effect, regardless of how transient or tenuous the friendships may be. Eventually my thoughts led me to another connection: the one between the worldly self and the true self. This post is about how our long-standing friendships can help us connect more firmly with who we truly are.
My conclusion, after spending such a joyous time in the company of familiar faces, is that what makes these long-standing friendships so special is not so much their duration, but the feeling, accentuated by their longevity, that somehow we are always connected. We may hardly see each other, but we remain forever connected. It means that whenever we meet up, we draw upon and strengthen the bond between us. More significantly, every connection is meaningful, in a world which can so easily appear to lack meaning. Maybe that’s why, as the special day drew to a close, one friend was heard saying to another, ‘Why can’t it always be like this?!’
It can. In the same way those friendships are always there, our connection to our true self is always available to us, even amidst the distractions and difficulties of the external world. The distractions – and the difficulties – are the meaningless part, (despite how much importance we invest in them). Our connection to our true self is where the meaning lies. It is the friendship which has sustained us throughout, which is always there, holding our hand, but which is so easily pushed into the background, overlooked or ignored because we are too busy dealing with life.
Our true self is that part of us which never changes. It sits in the silence, calmly watching us go through it all. And what’s really beautiful is that when we inhabit that space ourselves, we also become calm. From that place we are able to observe ourselves as we act and interact in the world. It gives us a greater perspective on everything; and the more often we go there, the more peaceful, serene, and joyful life becomes. We’re all connected anyway, and the best way to experience it is to connect with that part of us which we all possess.