I read a quote on a social media platform the other day. It said “A best friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.” I can see the goodness that I imagine the publisher of the quote intended. Essentially however, I believe this quote is mostly nonsense (i.e. a load of crap).
Finding a best friend is not hard. What many find difficult is vulnerability and allowing themselves to shine.
If however, you test courage for vulnerability, if you find what you’re passionate about in life and follow that, if you truly value yourself and treat yourself accordingly, and if you treat others how you want to be treated, you will naturally shine and friends will be attracted to you without additional effort. (This doesn’t mean everyone will want to be your friend (see my previous article ‘Not everyone wants to hang out with you‘) but those who share your values will be attracted to you.)
Having friends also has nothing to do with luck. I just referenced the dictionary definition of ‘luck’ and found “good fortune; advantage or success, considered the result of chance”. It is not by chance that someone takes a stand for their life; it is by choice.
Those self-development activities I just mentioned, such as finding and following your passion, and valuing yourself, occur through work. I meet and work with people on a daily basis who amaze me with their courage to be vulnerable and to “work” through challenges such as limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviour. Through this process, they create the luck that brings quality relationships into their life.
So rather than a quote that promotes luck as the source of friends, I prefer the words of Oscar Wilde:
“True friends stab you in the front.”
Friendship based on Real Love communicates face to face, whatever the conversation. The ability to be able to do that well takes ‘work’ on the self – not luck. It is a spiritual evolution and the seeking of a higher level of consciousness that usually entails suffering and greater levels of responsibility. So why not stick to the easy path? Why choose to evolve at all? In the words of M. Scott Peck, “If you ask this question, perhaps you do not know enough of joy.”
Wisdom about friendship can also be found in the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson. His words are more than a century old, but truth stands the test of time:
“It has seemed to me lately more possible than I knew to carry a friendship greatly, on one side, without due correspondence on the other. Why should I cumber myself with regrets that the receiver is not capacious? It never troubles the sun that some of his rays fall wide and vain into ungrateful space, and only a small part on the reflecting planet. Let your greatness educate the crude and cold companion. If he is unequal, he will presently pass away; but thou art enlarged by thy own shining.”
Let those words ring in your soul.
If you’re anything like me, it can sometimes take a bit of thinking to convert ‘Emerson English’ into something more understandable but it’s worth the effort if you get the lesson. Emerson, by my translation, speaks of being your best self, leading by example, and to be vulnerable in the face of the unknown. When you’re true to your values, those friends to whom you are suited will make a home in your heart. Those on a different path, allow them to walk on, and keep the lessons from your experiences with an open mind and heart.