My family moved nearly every year as I was growing up. As a result, I learned very quickly how to make friends fast and how to totally drop people from my life and heart each time we had to move. I had once felt the pain of being seriously rebuffed by a friend whom I loved very much and had tried to continue a friendship with after moving. At that point I made an inner decision to terminate my feelings when I felt I needed to, in order to lessen or eliminate pain. “Friends forever” was never a concept that occurred to me, or even felt like a possibility.
As I got older, I chose my friends very, very carefully. I made wonderful and close friends, and yet still, I never imagined lifelong friendships.
After being my teacher’s student for around six months, he one day asked me, “Sivan, when you get enlightened, will you stay friends with me?” I was startled by his question. My immediate honest inner response was, “No. Why would I need you as a friend at that point?” My hesitating verbal response was, “Of course.”
I walked away from that moment feeling empty and confused. Why was I so quick to say no? Why did I not believe that a long term friendship was possible? I went to work inside of myself and found that only fear stood in my way of remaining friends with my teacher. I vowed then and there to remain friends with him as long as I lived. That was nearly 20 years ago.
One of the clearest descriptions of an an outer manifestation of the spiritual path is forging true, deep friendships. Friendships that are not based on obligation, but on love. Friendships that are not sought for social climbing, but for true heart connection and sharing. Friendships that carry the willingness to forgive and the practice of trust and compassion.
Friends forever means that I cannot walk away from petty issues. It means that I must deepen my resolve and my ability to forgive, to love, to have compassion. It means that I must be willing to face confrontation, to have difficult conversations, to talk about taboo things, and I must be present and connected.
Friends forever means that my friends get to know more of me. It means that more of me gets to play in this world! It means that I get to know more of my friends. It means that I get to have people in my life that are willing to be my partners in growth, in evolving, in struggling to heal and to be real.
Friends forever means that I get to really see myself reflected everywhere. It means that we will know each other through good times and bad. It means that if I make a mistake in our friendship, we can talk about it. If my friend makes a mistake, we can talk about it. It means that we have no borders, no places where we would allow a break in our relationship.
Friends forever means that I must face my pain, instead of hiding it. Facing my pain means that I get to heal my pain.
Friends forever means that I understand I am nothing and everything at the same time. It means that I am you and you are me.
Friends forever means that we are never alone.
Friends forever means that we are conscious of our own true nature and connection.
Friends forever means that I get to love you and be loved by you and grow that love, forever.
I am practicing friends forever with all of my friends and am open to new ones every day!
So much love,