Have you ever noticed that you and your best friend share a lot in common? Of course there are differences but there are probably more similarities. After all, would they be your best friend if they didn’t share the same interests and viewpoints in life?
Is your best friend completely opposite you? Is that perhaps what draws you together? Do they challenge you when no else will? According to Dr. Cara Baker’s article for the Huffington Post “The bond provides a protective function to your well-being (improving health, and extending lifespan).”
She also listed these things as the “essentials” of a best friend:
- Best friends keep you honest with yourself, to the degree you are each committed to growth.
- Your soul’s best friend nudges you to come out from your own stale, crusted interior that has become too calcified.
- Best friends help you upgrade when you’ve settled for a life too small.
- They help you move closer to new edges, encourage you to face the unknown with courage and humor, perspective and praise, when you’ve mislaid your own supply.
- True best friends make it safer for you to shed your contingency self’s packaging, that old persona you use to ward off the world when you feel too vulnerable.
- Best friends help you stand “in the fire,” when you need more passion and strength; sweep up the ashes, from closing chapters; and “prepare the bath,” metaphorically, for what needs cleansing.
- When you get stuck, who else can give you a better “jump-start” when your battery needs charging?
- Best friends are “there” without you needing to ask, willing to challenge you when you resist receiving.
- Best friends see your warts, your flaws, and love the beauty, love and wisdom that goes deeper than your “nerdiness” and self-recriminations.
- Best friends admit it when they are jealous, and judgmental, and ask for forgiveness, and support you to do likewise.
- Best friends encourage you to bloom in areas where you are too myopic to see the seeds. They are willing to do whatever it takes to support you to follow the desire and delight of your own heart.
- A best friend supports and prompts the continuing investigation of what this means over time, modeling this behavior themselves.
- Best friends notice what drains and revitalizes your energy, nudging you in the direction of the latter.
- Best friends draw you closer to the mystery that you are, “hold hands” with you in the dark, reflecting back to you all that makes you not only “good enough” but grand, especially when you doubt that you are here to be all that you can be.
- Best friends, if they are worthy, bring you to the door of the Beloved that lives in your heart, with its desire to be free.
- Best friends bring you back home to who you are, to the feast that awaits you where “you will love again the stranger who was your self….”
I agree with it all. So what makes you best friends with someone? What attracted you? What pulled you together and what kept you together? I think my best friends are my best friends because of the following things:
- Safety – I feel safe with them. Physically, Emotionally, Mentally and Spiritually. It’s a matter of trust in them to not abuse confidences.
- Humor – I need to be able to laugh with them. Real, deep, uncontrollable, pee in your pants, snort out your nose, belly laughing.
- Support – I need to feel supported in both the joys and the sorrows of my life. I need them to be happy for me when good things happen and compassionate enough to feel my sorrow when it hits but I also need them to not let me sit in either emotion for so long that I forget the truths of life.
- Honesty – I need them to be honest and with me and I expect them to demand my honesty in return. There is no room for lies and half-truths in a deep friendship.
- The Higher Truth – This is a little harder for me to explain but I need my best friends to hold me to the “Higher Truth of Who I Am” and to believe I am capable of living out that truth even when I have lost sight of it myself.