The past few days have given me some really cool lessons about friendship to ponder over.
This afternoon I went to a teaching at the Buddhist Centre I attend, and during a break we sat outside and had tea, fruit and cake in the garden. It was so nice to sit there with a group of 'spiritual friends' (even those I didn't know all that well) and feel like we were all on the same page; all looking at life differently but with a similar seeking attitude, a similar compassionate outlook and a similar code of ethics. No matter what religion you hold dear (if any) having a group of spiritual friends is of great value I think.
During the week someone who reads this site took the trouble to send me an email and share some of his experience as a fellow gay Buddhist Sydneysider. Our life stories are quite different, but we have both ended up at a similar place and both value these kind of friendships. He seems like a great guy (Hi Bodhi!) and maybe a new friendship will come from it.
Later this afternoon I was talking with a friend of mine who has been having a tough time lately. Just very recently things have gotten to be even more difficult for her it would seem, with depression and then the messy end of a problematic relationship. When I was talking to her she was giving me a bit of a run down of what was going on in her life, and at the end of it as we made plans to try and catch up tomorrow she shared some advice her therapist had given her. Spend more time with your friends, they love you.
Maybe I need to hear this lesson too. I have a loving circle of friends, but if things aren't going well I don't find it that easy to share it with them. I'm not sure why, it certainly isn't that I'm not an open person, because I'm very able to discuss my feelings. I think maybe it stems from having grown up tagged as 'the mature one' or 'the stable guy', and in my friendships I have been the one that was a shoulder to cry on. I'm also quite introspective, and am often more likely to go away and think my way through a problem than to share it. It works for me, but it can mean that it seems that I retreat from the world at times.
Since leaving my job at the end of last year I've had a few up and down times. Nothing major, but I see now that I have been isolating myself a bit from my regular circle of friends. I haven't had money to do stuff until recently, so it has gotten to be easier to sit at home and surf the net, watch tv etc. I've also been very involved in the Buddhist centre which has meant that I need to be more proactive about seeing these other friends.
Can you make February Resolutions?