Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Matthew 7:7
Months ago I became concious of my yearning for friends who were comfortable with the profundity of spiritual practice. I did some gentle interviews with my existing group of friends and although they are wonderful, I didn’t find encouragement for conversations and wonderings about the sacred aspacts of life and the soul within.
Because my searching and studying has taken me far from my fundamentalist roots, I couldn’t find the easy fit of a churh congregation. The only Ba’hai group* is too for to reach on a regular basis. And so I left it to the universe.
And as usual, the universe provides.
A month ago I was scanning the offerings on meetup.com and noticed a new group forming that sounded promising. Taking a leap of faith I attended the meeting. The agenda and the women attending were fascinating enough to draw me back a second time.
Eureka! I think I have found my peeps! I have been fortunate enough to join a group of women who can laugh, cry, be vulnerable and also be happy to talk freely of spirit, soul, and our search for total authenticity in the way we live.
* Although I don’t know a lot about this faith, I admire many of the ideas and concepts that it embraces in the little I have heard.
Everyone has to make their own decisions. I still believe in that. You just have to be able to accept the consequences without complaining. Grace Jones
Often I am struggling with my own decisions. This week it would be a struggle even without the perceived judgment of friends. I am on an extended stay in a foreign country. A week ago I received the news that a friend’s daughter had committed suicide.
Immediately I called my friend and followed up again within a couple of days. Based on those conversations I decided not to return home early. She and her husband were essentially in seclusion except for family. That is what they wanted. They were refusing offered food and visits.
My experience is that family gathers at such times. It is implicit (and in this case vocalized) that the desire is to be with those who most clearly understand the loss.
In talking with my friend, she was clear that her greatest desire was to invite those to the service who had known her daughter in high school, college and early in her career; those who remembered her before her troubled times. Although she wanted the attendance of our close-knit group, she understood that I was away.
There is where my questioning begins. Should I have gone home for the service? Is the celebration of life so important that I should have intuited the necessity of my attendance? My other friends seem to think so.
On one hand I continue to believe that I will be more valuable in the weeks and months to come. My continuing friendship and my attentiveness when the shock wears off and everyone else goes back to their lives will be more important than the two hours I didn’t spend with her at the graveside and the lunch after.
It’s too late to change my mind. This conundrum is only a sort of self-torture that I hope to leave behind me. After all, why spend good time after an irrevocable decision, be it good or bad?
If I can convince myself that my decision was right for me…and, if it wasn’t, then forgive myself; perhaps I will stand easily if I encounter the judgment of others.
“Surround yourself only with people who are going to take you higher.” Oprah Winfrey
I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships.
How does my circle of friends reflect my own values? Are my relationships feeding my soul? Is my social life lifting me higher?
I recognize a yearning and I want to be aware of whether it can be satisfied from without or within. And so I have shuffled through a list of wants and needs.
In a friend…
- I don’t need constant attention but I want to be seen.
- I don’t need hours of intense philosophical discussion but I want to have meaningful conversations.
- I don’t need my friends to agree with me but a sense of shared values creates a solid foundation.
- I would love to have spontaneous friends but realize I must then develop my own ability to be spontaneous.
- I don’t need to hear religious or spiritual beliefs, but I want to see and feel that the lives of my friends are on a path toward truth and compassion.
What I call a higher power, another may call God, Allah or Nirvana.
What I call spirituality another may call higher conciousness.
Perhaps the answer is simply to remain open to my life’s purpose and meet other students along the way.