Are you a friend?
While helping a friend in need, Megha Bajaj discovers that friendship is foremost in all relationships
A very close friend of mine from Los Angeles was going through a rough patch in her marriage. She would keep messaging and calling me, telling me how unhappy she was and how things were just not the way they used to be between she and her husband. This was distressing for me as both she and her husband are two of the nicest people I have had the pleasure of meeting, and for as long as I know, they have been so deeply in love that their relationship being in trouble actually made me slightly cynical and ask, “So is there no true love left in the world?”
She kept telling me, “I don’t know why, Megha, I believe the solution will come from you.” I didn’t seem to have any answers and wondered how this would happen. One of those days when I was attending a discourse by my beloved guru, He seemed to look straight into my eyes and said, “Words like husband-wife, brother-sister, mother-in-law-daughter-in-law are mere words. In each relationship, what matters the most is this: are you a friend to the other? Irrespective of the age, the gender, the name you give to the relationship, what matters the most is to be a friend to the other. Friends are able to speak without hesitation, laugh together, cry, shift roles, and most importantly, between friends, you can always express without any need to suppress. If any relationship which used to be very intimate is suddenly seeming distant, it is likely that either one or both have stopped feeling like a friend to the other. The only way to revive a relationship is to bring the friendship alive once more.”
Eureka! I sent a video clipping of this to my friend, and together, we came up with a plan as to how she and her husband could work on their relationship: from going for a romantic travel, to gradually reviving their night walks once again; from sending little notes to each other about beautiful memories, to just sharing parts of their day. Initially, her husband didn’t respond and wondered what was going on with her. However, with enough patience from her end, things have changed significantly. In fact, just this morning, I received a message from her saying, “Beginning to feel so close to him; can’t believe how much of a difference this word ‘friend’ can make.”
It is her message that inspired this article. I realised that so many of us struggle so much with relationships and the complexities that come with each definition. If we could somehow simplify this and remind ourselves to be a friend to the other (whether they are our father or son, or sister or wife), if we can go beyond all these and discover the friendship, we are likely to experience the deepest love, the greatest bliss, and the freedom we seek.
How wonderful it is to have a few close friends with whom we can walk through this journey of life! Someone to share your dreams with, someone to experience your vulnerabilities with, someone with whom you know you can be yourself— with your eccentricities—and it is all right.
Life becomes a lot more meaningful when you have close friends to walk with you. I am so grateful to my guru and my friend for expanding my definition of ‘friend.’ I am thoroughly enjoying this process of rekindling friendship in all my relationships. Possibly one of the most enchanting projects I have been on in a very long time. Try it?
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