Gratitude, Joy, Oneness and Service (Day 768 – Day 774)
Albert Camus famously outlined a balanced view of friendship:
“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
In any friendship there will be times when we are more knowledgeable in something than the other person and we can share our expertise. And then there will be things we don’t know how to do that our friend will. Last night I cooked friendsgiving and I have no idea how to make gravy. So my friend – who is also not the gravy master of her family – gave it a shot. I cooked the rest of the meal fine, with a little input there, a dash of advice here and it never felt like a burden to be the one having to make the decisions and get it all together.
Sometimes our expertise in an area is so much more advanced that we become a mentor to a friend. This can be a tricky situation and can impact on the friendship. I try to steer clear of these situations in every possible way. But sometimes, you have to bend the rules because you have been placed in the path of greatness and you have the opportunity to be at the crossroads for someone who can either disappear into obscurity or – with a little encouragement – move on to greatness.
Sometimes, we are called to act against our better judgement. Most times this is because oh – we want to get with that person and date them or because we want the job with the extra money and the long vacations. Usually, there is an ulterior motive. And sometimes, there is nothing in it for you – in fact, it costs you, in the long run. And still, you have to step up and boost someone who will soon run past you and never look back. Sometimes, you just know that this has been a gift from the universe and you have been entrusted with something special. At that juncture, do we go with the ego, or do we surrender and go with what is being asked of us?
It’s not easy to surrender, but surrender we must.
I’ve been given an opportunity to exercise my non-attachment and to go beyond ego. Not every opportunity is painless, but I am grateful that the universe seems to trust me with this one. I’m grateful for a blossoming friendship that is powerfully intense and may soon burn out if not stoked slowly and left to a slow smoulder. And, I am grateful for old friends who cannot see the forest but warn me of the tree that lies dead ahead as I run towards it. They will not understand that cutting my face on the branches was what I needed to do, in order to clear the way for someone else. It is a joy to see someone excited and fresh at something and there is a closeness and a Oneness that comes from sharing those moments. Eventually the roles will reverse and if a balance of walking together side by side is not achieved, then I will be grateful that I was given this chance to be of service and wish him well.
In times of crisis, I have always felt that we are not in a position to understand the meaning of the moment. And so it is in times of gifts as well. If we are called to step up, it is not necessary that we understand why. Faith is about trusting that we may never know the why, but that the what was profoundly important.
For what are you grateful this week?