I’m in the process of beginning a new friendship. Having written that sentence, I just want sit here and ponder its implications, and meanings. When you’re fully aware of the process of making friends with another human being, you feel yourself expand.
When a friendship is new and fresh, it is the result of the meeting of heart and mind. In the heart sense, friendship nourishes a deep primal need for human connection. In the mind sense, friendship feeds the necessity to share ideas and interests with another person.
Getting to know someone beyond the stage of acquaintanceship is a process of discovery and vulnerability. There is a lot of intellectual discussion. There is also a fuzzy boundary that is crossed when subjects of discussion are those that are most meaningful to the heart.
In our culture, it is still quite rare for men to talk heart to heart with each other, even if they’ve known one another for several years. In the case of this new friend and me, we’ve put a foot into each other’s door to the heart. It all started innocently enough by engaging in standard polite conversation about the rainy weather in that we both wished for a dry spell.
He prefers to be called Jonathan, not Jon, not Johnny. It’s important to respect someone’s desire to go by whatever name they prefer. In his case of preferring the full, formal name of Jonathan, he reveals an aura of respectability and dignity. Jonathan likes the history of his name. He reminded me that it goes back to ancient Hebrew culture. The Biblical Jonathan was the eldest son of King Saul. He also mentioned the scholar named Jonathan Edwards and the famous writer Jonathan Swift. I mentioned my favorite comedian Jonathan Winters.
At first, it seemed like the relationship would be that of mentor and protégé because Jonathan is much younger than my other friends. He also has asked for my advice about several matters. However, the relationship has developed into more of an equal give and take. It is not as formal as it was in the earlier stages. We learn from each other.
The friendship is still in its earliest stages because it has not yet had to withstand any serious adversity nor challenge. We’re both still observing and carefully testing each other. The important thing is that we are very similar in heart and mind; which can either make us blind to each others faults or help reveal them.
The point of writing about this new friendship is to simply share a few observations. Perhaps these words will help you see your own friendships from different perspectives. Maybe you have a new friendship in its budding stages, too. I hope so.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Paramahansa Yogananda. “There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first. When you learn to live for others, they will live for you.”