His message was simple. "A frog may not stop the downpour, but he can always join his friend for a walk in the rain." I wasn't sure where he was going with his, but he soon explained exactly what he meant. With the end of the year only a few days away, Dharma believes that this is the perfect time to reflect back on all the precious relationships in our lives and to remember everyone who enriches our lives, past and present. Friends are often the ones we turn to in our darkest hours. They believe in us. They stand by us. They love us...warts and all. We learn to love ourselves through the very simple act of loving and being loved by others. Friendship is one of our most precious gifts. And while friends may not be able to stop our troubles, they're always there to walk with us through the difficult times.
Friends are often our best teachers. Receiving support in times of need, experiencing laughter and joy during the good times, and being non-judgmental and accepting of us. We must always remember that friendship is a two-way street; offering our love, comfort, support, and laughter to our friends to just as important as accepting these gifts from them. True friendship is a beautiful balance of give-and-take. We learn what supportive love means through our closest friendships. Sometimes, we get so carried away with all the things happening in our day-to-day world, that we forget to think of others. A test of true friendship is whether or not you can be there for them, even when your own life isn't going smoothly. As Dharma reminded me, "Irwin, there should always be room for two under your umbrella."
What else is a friend? Friends allow us to be true to our conscience without fear of judgment. The conscience, Dharma believes, lives in the heart, And if we sit still, we can hear it. Then, follow that voice. Support your friend when they do the same. A true friend will always support you when you are following your conscience.
Science shows us that gratitude seems to go along way in building and maintaining social relationships. For that is how we come to value others. By and large, most humans (and definitely most frogs) are willing to trade off our own welfare to help those to whom we feel close. Humans are an intensely social species...frogs are too...and both species place great importance on establishing beneficial relationships with others. When someone does something nice for us this becomes the very essence of gratitude. And gratitude may play a central role in the process by which strangers develop relationships that turn into friendships. "Whoever you are, I've always depended on the kindness of strangers." (Blanche Du Bois in the film "A Streetcar Named Desire")
Dharma isn't always straightforward with his lessons so what this all boils down to is this; Friendship is a rare and wonderful gift. Yet it's often one that gets overlooked. Having gratitude for those we call friends is important all year long. But as this year comes to a close, a year that has been very difficult for many of us, it is vitally important to express that gratitude to those we count on the most. Remember lovingly those friends who are no longer with us and hug those that are still here. Be there for each other o walk in the rain.
I walked many a mile through the rain with my late friend. And while she couldn't stop my downpour...nor I hers...we both knew that that, together, we could get through anything. After Dharma left this morning, I spent some time thinking about my friend, remembering her gentleness, loyalty, and unwavering friendship. Her grace at the end of her life was truly inspirational. I am so grateful for every day we had together. I miss her terribly and I know that I was blessed to be able to call her my friend. Rest in peace, my sweet dear Sachi. My life is richer for having known you.
"Let us be grateful to the ones who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." ~ Marcel Proust