Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rich tapestry of life

When I lost mother in October 2001, I had a hard time coping. Among the things I did that helped me cope was reading. I read several books: books on coping, healing, moving on, maximizing your life, and some others.
One of the more helpful books was The Art of Coping by Fredrica R. Halligan, Ph.D. I borrowed this book from Sister Lucia Arana, OND, my MBA classmate who became my close friend, and one of those who helped me get through that dark period in my life. Incidentally Sister Lucia is now based in Jolo and I really desire to visit her there.
When father died a couple of months ago and I returned Gen. Santos City last summer, I picked the book again and read. I put it on a nook to read when I have the need.
Today, I picked it again and my attention was caught by the page on “Friendship”.
Allow me to lift some passages from the book that focus on “Friendship”. It says loneliness and lack of companionship are among the greatest unrecognized contributors to illness and premature death. Recent research shows the immune system is adversely affected by loneliness, so we are becoming increasingly aware that long, healthy lives are more likely for people who have good interpersonal relationships. In order to strengthen the bonds with others and to have a full and rewarding social life, we need to reach out, to open ourselves so that we can touch and be touched by others. To be truly available for deep intimate relationships, we need to accept our personal limitations. We need to be willing to lower our masks and allow more of our true selves to appear to the other. When we acknowledge and accept our vulnerability as human beings, we become more willing to expose ourselves, both our strengths and weaknesses. Trust is built by mutual sharing of our authentic selves.
I simply love this naked truth: Trust is built by mutual sharing of our authentic selves. What a great one-liner. It rocks!
The book says, the number of friends we have and how long these relationships thrive may be affected by proximity and by shared interest, but clearly, all good relationships require effort. To be true friends, we need to be able to depend on one another. We care and are generously concerned for each other. Even when time, energy, or the resources are scarce or when we are separated by many miles, as friends we have an abiding sense of our mutual affection. Authentic relationships are never one-sided. Mutuality means that each of us can count on the affection, acceptance, and enduring good will of the other. We have an unspoken pact that our friendship matters to each of us.

I agree totally. Relationships require effort and more. I call it investment. We invest time, effort, and even resources in our relationships. We invest love, affection, trust, respect, the right attitude, and all positive feelings in our relationships. That’s why it hurts when a relationship turns sour. It hurts the most when we are rejected in a relationship. Boy that really sears through the flesh.
Throughout life, friendship is an essential ingredient to vibrant living. As we grow older, our personalities become more highly developed and we often find that our capacity for deep, mutually rewarding relationships increase. The rich tapestry of life is open for friends to share together, the book continued.
I love this line: The rich tapestry of life is open for friends to share together. Indeed life is full; life is rich. We are only dots in this universe. So let’s look from the outside to fully appreciate the grid of connected dots representing the relationships that we have built through the years. Then we can smile knowing that we are full; that our life is complete.
What a wonderful reading. I’m so glad I picked up the book again. It is inspiring and reaffirms my deep faith in friendship.

Food for thought: Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself. >Henry Miller

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