I often have wonderful conversations with members of USC about the power and pleasure that can be found in spiritual community — the special kind of spiritual friendships that can be created between like-minded and like-hearted people. An anonymous sage once wrote that “a real friend helps us think our best thoughts, do our noblest deeds, be our finest selves” — and those kinds of friends can be rare. But in order to live from our highest selves — or at least make that worthy intention easier — we need to surround ourselves with people who will hold our vision with us, who will even hold it during the times when we ourselves can’t. Such friends are precious beyond measure.
Take a moment to reflect on your friendships — can you point to people in your life who hold the highest regard for you, even though they’re familiar with your challenge areas and history? Do you gift them with the same kind of regard? The Apocrypha says that “a faithful friend is the medicine of life.” How faithful are your friends? How healing are your friendships?
Such a reflection is useful to undertake on a periodic basis, both to see if we’re truly being supported by our friendships, and to track how supportive we’re being of our friends. It has been said that a true friend is a gift from God — so may we honor our true friendships as the blessings they are, and may we be willing to serve in the same way for our friends.
May we create and cherish the friendships that will support our highest visions for our lives; and may we support the highest visions of our friends.
—Rev. Maggie Oman Shannon