There are so many different types of love, and for much of my life, I have focused mostly on romantic love, but I am beginning to find that the one of the most rewarding types of love is shown through friendship. My parental situation was less than stellar, and I found acceptance with a core group of friends who were also struggling with their own emotional stability.
I have always had a lot of friends, and my friends are all different. In high school, I could hangout with the captain of the football team one day and my goth friend the next. Each one always seemed to have characteristics that I found intriguing. My friends also tend to be the types of people who do not have many friends at all. This is not because they are difficult people to be around, but it is more because the tend to be introverts. My empathic ability allows me connect with almost everyone, and I must admit that I find the majority of people in this world fascinating. One of my coworkers has a favorite catch phrase: “I hate people.” I find this so amusing. Part of the reason I find this amusing is because it is not true. She is one of my most caring and giving friends. She is just easily frustrated when other people act very human. The other reason is that I have not met a person who deserves to be hated. You may be sitting there thinking, “Well, you haven’t met so-and-so. She is really awful.” The reality is that I have met people who may seem to deserve the moniker “most awful,” but with a little bit of digging, there is always a love inside that person. It is really easy to go inside ourselves and hide behind our egos and dismiss people as difficult, but the reality is that we all have moments of being difficult. We all have moments that need to be forgiven. Eckhart Tolle has this great line in his novel Stillness Speaks. Tolle writes the following in response to the idea of difficulty of acceptance, “Acceptance of the acceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world.” This is not to say that if someone is abusing you or taking advantage, you should continue to let that happen and “accept” this behavior. It’s actually empowering to “accept” the knowledge that you are being abused or taken advantage of and now is the time for you to act. So often abuse continues because of the victim’s denial of reality. I am discussing acceptance here in terms of allowing people to be who they are while you allow yourself to be who you truly are. It is not until you accept “what is” that your life will begin to change.