"To have a deep friend and to be one is to have a blessing and to be a blessing. It is daring, creative, transformative and humbling. It requires focus, dedication, self-giving and two conscious people attending to the movement of love in the depth of their being. In other words it is a spiritual matter." So writes Gunilla Norris, a meditation teacher and psychotherapist in private practice. She has penned six exquisite books on everyday spirituality with many approaches to prayer, silence, attentiveness, and being present.
There are many different places where friends can meet. Something intangible draws us together; it may be a look in the eyes, interests we share, a common love of films, or an emotional connection that cannot be described. Norris observes:
"When we embrace the sanctity in each other we have a foundation on which much can be built. We naturally want to understand more about what has made us who were are. That is the stuff of intimacy."
Telling the stories of our lives to a friend, we touch upon both the joys and the sorrows we have experienced. Being honest about our faults is helpful and so is being able to work through disagreements and conflict which crop up in any human relationship. If friendship is lacking in trust and respect, it will not last for long since these are essential virtues which ground this adventure.
In her graceful, elegant, and pensive writing style, Gunilla Norris muses on the incomparable treasures of deep friendship. She mines the spiritual depths of this intimate relationship and challenges us to open ourselves fully to its emotional radiance and precious beauty. In these times of increasing social isolation, we all need to be nurtured by steady friends who are with us for the long haul.