Friends are a living blessing

1920 1280 Elisabeth Karsten

I have been through a rather tough time.  Without my friends I would have felt very lost and helpless. I decided to use my birthday as a way to find closure with the past and celebrate a new beginning.My birthday is on November 22nd. Because it happened to be a Friday this year and I was in the mood to celebrate on the same day, I invited friends. I had the great desire to celebrate these various shifts from the old to the new in an appropriate way. For, I too, changed in that time.

Good food

Because I really like cooking, I decided to make three different kinds of Curry and a Biryani rice. Supplemented by an Hungarian cucumber salad and a green leaf salad with a French dressing and two crumbles for desert, one plum and one apple with my version of clotted cream.

As many of my friends are vegetarians and I eat meat only rarely they were all vegetable curries – but nobody seemed to miss meat. Quite to the contrary, actually. Also dairy products do not agree with everyone and so I made the cucumber salad with soy yoghurt instead of cow milk yoghurt and put the sheep cheese as an aside next to the biryani.

(Thank you A. Rauthmann, for the picture 🙂 )

Details for the Gourmets

The Biryani consisted of basmati rice, curcuma, dried apricot (I don´t like raisins), dates, cashews and sheep cheese. The Vindaloo Curry of eggplant, tomatoes, red onions, red wine and a lot of fresh parsley, the Madras Curry of zucchini, spinache, white onions and a lot of fresh cilantro, the Korma Curry of Hokkaido pumpkin, oranges, white onion and coconut cream.

The food delighted everybody and the idea to eat the left overs the next day with a friend who was staying overnight – had to be abandoned: there was hardly left enough for one person. As a chef and host I was very much thrilled of course.

Highlights of life

One of the things I really came to appreciate profoundly in the past years, are good, healthy friendships and the matching friends. So I invited all my closer Berlin friends. Two couldn´t make it so two others came from out of town. There were twelve guests altogether that evening.

And I had a need to thank each of them personally: for their coming, their friendship, their loyalty and for their presence in my life in general. I do not like to mention their full names here and also not our personal stories. Some of it is too intimate and besides, not everybody likes being mentioned in a blog.

Great friendships radiate beyond the personal

However I believe that the honouring itself as well as the current length of the friendship and what I am grateful for specifically is worth being mentioned in this context. Furthermore I want to add my thanks to those friends who couldn´t make it for reasons of time or geography. All are happy for me that I can relaunch my life and that my self expression can unfold now ever more freely.

As I am certain, that there are people amongst my readers who also appreciate good friendships and contacts, this is also a tribute to you and the preciousness of valuable relationships with other humans in general!

I feel grateful to each of them in a very specific way and while I´m at it, I´d also like to honour them for specific aspects of their character, that I consider a great enrichment to my life! Some might seem somewhat cryptic to an outsider, but the people concerned know, what I mean and everybody else is welcome to speculate…

Verbal flowers for real friends

I want to thank the following people, for being currently in my life, for being such great friends to me and also

N (ca. 10 years) for his reliability, his fine loyalty and that he allowed me to understand what patrimonial love is.

K (44 years) for her constancy and the insight, that there is also a love within friendship that can thrive and grow over the years.

C (4 months) for her spontaneity and the realization that heart connections are not a matter of time and that train journey can offer unimagined and wonderful surprises!

S (ca. 6 years) for her insights while exploring narcissism as a social experience. Also for her always loving guidance through my sometimes rather steep learning curves. Furthermore for the insight that we are in service of life and not life in ours – some things simply want to happen through us, not because of us. To take this personal is unnecessarily vain and unproductive.

A (31 years) for her support in my development in my self-awareness as a woman; how important an honest expression of feeling is for your health and relationships and the insight that narcissism can weaken if faced with a sound love relationship.

“Everybody likes riding in the limo with you. But you need people, who take the bus with you, when the limo fails.” Oprah Winfrey

N (10 years) that real soul sisterhood supersedes all kinds of possible differences, may they be in cultures, age, language, origin or professional direction. The unflinching commitment to growth in consciousness connects and the honest exchange about it is always enriching, sometimes painful and very often funny.

S (29 years) for her healthy pragmatism and that some things take as long as they take – even allowing for major growth. Furthermore for the insight that there is something like a loyalty to life and love that over writes drama.

J (ca. 3 years) for his invitation to an always honest exchange and the reminder that healthy relationships are always possible in the future. And that authenticity is a trump: for example in drawing boundaries by being honest. And how important it is to follow your own heart to become and stay healthy and also to develop an appropriate social environment.

A (ca. 10 years) for him maintaining the belief that it is important to stay open to new encounters, even after difficult relationships and not meet the new person with unnecessary distrust. Furthermore that it can be painful to be true to oneself, but that it is the only way to meet a matching partner.

S (ca. 6 years) that commitment and surrender are definitely not a matter of age, but of personality. Some are more mature and conscious in their late twenties than others who are still stuck in puberty in their sixties.

“A little friendship is worth more than the admiration of the entire world” Otto von Bismarck

Y (10 years) that you can love the other ever more, the better you know your own shadows and that of the other – in the end we´re wholistically worthy of love!

K (11 years) that we´re all worthy of love and respect, no matter how battered we feel by life. May it be that we´re ill, a relationship collapses, it´s financially tight or that life itself seems almost too difficult to manage.

Z (7 years) for her always open ear and that the perception of truth and reality are always determined by the current situation and that humour can not only be healing, but sacred. Furthermore that everything, truly everything that happens is ultimately in service of our growth in consciousness and that we never know, where it is actually leading – but that it is definitely worth it.

S (ca. 5 years) for her multidimensional companionship, appreciation and reminding me of my lightful aspects and that even if you feel dim, you can shine…

A (7 months) for her forthright honesty, her broad mind, her courageous wisdom, her real curiosity and her joy and fearlessness in the multidimensional exploration of consciousness.

“A true friend takes your hand, but touches your heart.” Gabriel José García Márquez

B (9 years) for his reliability, his willingness to change and the realization that there is no way into the light without integrating your shadows.

D (43 years) for her reminding me of my healthier modes and moods and that my actual basic state of being is one of life affirming balance and not one of stressed despondence.

U (21 years) for his respect and honest compassion and his reminding me that every process takes it’s time and that unlived creativity can make you ill.

J (44 years) for her reminding me that indignation is a healthy emotional expression, that  judgement can have a catalysing effect and that you should get help, if you don´t feel sufficiently safe and stable on your own.

C (4 years) for her enormous generosity timewise and materially and that a crisis always offers great potential for growth and openings for new friendships.

“The best mirror is the eye of a good friend.” Gaelic proverb

M (6 years) for his constant encouragement and his reminding me of the fact that a difficult situation exists until it becomes unnecessary for soul growth – only then can liberation take place.

U (19 years) for his loyalty and the honouring of my courage and perseverance.

O (8 years) for his hands-on support emotionally and physically.

M (38 years) for his reminding me that certain conventions and virtues are a worthy good and that selflove in difficult situations should by no means be neglected, even if it makes a situation more difficult.

I (10 years) for her always open ear and heart and her professional intelligence and personal wisdom concerning challenging relationships – no matter under which premise and that absolutely everything is serving our personal growth – and that never stops. Furthermore that all theories of behaviour only help to a certain extend – in the end your own heart is the best advisor.

“Really good friends are people who know us very well and still stick to us.” Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

N (8 years) for her great compassion, her deep sympathy and her honest amazement, as well as her constant in inspiring striving to become more conscious in all areas of being.

R (8 years) for his faithful friendship and his constant and contagious striving to harmonize his spiritual insights with his rather worldly life.

M (22 years) for her steadfast encouragement to seize all opportunities for growth and reminding me that life may be difficult at times but that this is always only temporary and that this doesn´t necessarily mean we´re a difficult or bad person.

M (9 years) for his enlightened sober-mindedness, his razor sharp clarity and his serene love  for the truth of my soul.

C (9 years) for her unconditional compassion, her vice-motherly indignation and her cordial love to m beingness.

Not all friendships are equally long or close

Concerning the support I could even add a few close acquaintances or “loose friends”. I´m amazed myself that this list already contains thirty people and will stop here.

In regard to friendships I feel utterly rich. I´m also deeply grateful and happy about the fact that humans can make new friends any time – with people of any age. My current friends are between 2 and 82 years old.

And of course I am also thinking of those who supported me in the past – i.e. when I broke my shoulder three years ago. For two weeks I was daily monitored by my friends according to a refined schedule accommodating jobs and other obligations.

Friendships are hardly predictable

However there are a few who are no longer part of my circle of friends. Generally because our ideas of friendship eventually became incompatible. So even once intimate friendships sometimes end even after many years. The personal life decisions lead to an increasing alienation, that eventually cannot be bridged anymore and therefore the friendship ends. However that opens capacities for new and more appropriate relationships and is ultimately in service of all involved.

And sometimes an acquaintance turns into a friendship even after many years or a friendship turns back into the state of an acquaintance. Today, in the day and age of social media there are also virtual friendships – that can be intensified if need is – or not.

Interestingly enough this always contains an element of surprise. I can hardly ever asses at the beginning of a relationship, how long it will last. We are all subject to change all the time… But I don´t think it´s actually that important, it´s more important to consciously honour and handle the current connection and interaction.

Trust is a prerequisite for friendship

At the very moment I am particularly grateful for our human ability to make friends, develop and maintain friendships. It´s actually something that many animals and plants can do too – beyond their species. Apparently all creatures can trust – and trust each other. Certainly not every one, but enough others to strengthen their position in life. What a miracle this is!

I feel pity for people who don´t have friends and it often makes me wary. Apparently something else is more important to them than healthy relationships. But there is nothing more important to me personally and that definitely includes a healthy relationship with our self.

Treating ourselves lovingly an being kind towards others, the mutual support and the possibility to have an exchange about our lives as well as sharing joys and mitigating pain increases the quality of life vastly. Furthermore friendships make us ever more aware that we are part of something much bigger and that we can achieve much more together than on our own.

I really consider friends and friendships a gift and a blessing of life. I will always be grateful to creation for that!

“It´s actually the connection with other people that give life it´s worth.” Wilhelm von Humboldt