(image from pixabay)
“True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable.” - David Tyson
(I admit to not knowing who David Tyson is.... so I wikipedia-ed him, and OMG, he co-wrote Alannah Myles' song "Black Velvet" - I loved that song as a kid!)
And so we move into Friendship this month. The virtue (or character trait) of friendship is that opening up, non-judgementally, to someone who you meet, where there is a click, a connection, an inkling of recognition. In that moment (and the many moments after) of non-judgement, you find that you want to be there for that person, for a day, a week, a year, or a lifetime. Friendship can be momentary or last forever, it can involve having a friendly smile for the stranger on the street, a bunch of flowers for your new neighbour, or a shoulder to cry on for the friend you've known since kindy.
When I think of long-lasting, enduring friendship, I think of the people I can sit with in silence. Where the feelings of non-judgement, of care, and understanding, are so strong, that you intuitively know when you're friend needs a moment (or ten). To understand within yourself that sometimes you're mind needs to wander, settle, or ponder as well, and you just know that your friend get's it.
I have many friends that I feel this way with, not least my housemate, Anj. This friendship is a true test of different temperaments being able to live, non-judgementally, in an understanding and open way. Anj is an extrovert.... I am an introvert. Anj is always bubbling with energy and vibrancy (in a way I wish I could sometimes), I am quieter (though I do have my moments - especially when there is wine involved), and slower, more deliberate per say in my movement and actions. We function at different times of the day, I sleep like a log from 10pm and am itching to get up before 7am, Anj get's by on little sleep, but likes to lie-in whenever she gets the chance. Sometimes one of us needs company and the other is happy to give it, other times, one of us needs space and quietness and the other is happy to give this too.
We are different, and yet she is one of my dearest friends, we can have the big discussions and also talk about poo (cause don't we all talk about poo?), and most importantly, we can also sit in silence. No need to fill the still, quiet space.
Other friends I can do this with know who they are, and I appreciate the silence - wherever that silence happens doesn't matter, how long that silence lasts doesn't matter, when one has something to say it will be said, and when it is time to simply be a pillar of love and strength I (or they) will be this.
Who in your friendships circle can you be silent with? Are there opportunities to be silent more? Let me know.
So friendship for the month of May will look at the benefits of friendship, the experience of friendship, how we can cultivate more friendship in our lives, and also how we can be more of a friend to the people we know. Is there anything else you would like me to explore? Let me know in the comments below.
ps my friend Anj, is the founder of a wonderful movement - Inspiring Women Changemakers. She is currently looking for story nominations around social change for her awards evening being held in November. If you (or someone you know) has an inspiring story about social change please check out the eventbrite link here - Inspiring Women Changemakers Awards.