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UMS Founder on “FRIENDS”

Sunday, January 6th, we begin a discussion on the topic of Friends. Below you can read the chapter on Friends from Perceptions, a book written by UMS founder Damien Simpson.

FRIENDS

 “Our faith and our friends are not destroyed by one big act, but by many small ones.”
 

The way to have friends is to be willing to lose a few arguments. Tact is an important part of keeping friends. It is the unsaid part of what you think. “Are you the wind beneath my wings or are you just breathing down my back?”Our faith and our friends are not destroyed by one big act, but by many small ones.

Friends take time; but at the same time, who else are we going to give it to. To love someone is to spend time with them or, I like to say, ON them! I know it’s time I ‘m spending and I know that my friends are worth it.

A friend makes the Scripture’s, “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven. Whatever you loose on Earth, shall be loosed in Heaven,” come fully alive for me, for what else can I bind, but my spirit to yours? I know nothing else can go with me.

Pyramids were built to keep treasures, in death, safe with the owner only to be later robbed or taken to the public via a museum.

Besides my spirit, your spirit is the only other matter to transform and go to the other side. If I get there and have befriended no soul on earth, have bound myself to no one. Heaven will be a hell of a place for me.

In English Literature in high school, I remember these words that Polonius advises his son, “The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple to thy heart with hoops of steel.”

Friendship is the First Sacrament of the Universal Church of Mankind. “Love ye, one another.”

The greatest requirement in friendship is not only tact, but also honesty – (tactfully given).

Let’s look at an example of such honesty and tact:

A friend drives you home late at night after a meeting or after work because your car is out of commission. You arrive at your front door; you’re tired, for the day has been stripped of its normal function, and your kinetic memory is confused. Oh, to shower, lie down or just kick off your shoes.

But out of your own lips you hear yourself say, “Would you like to come in for a cup of coffee?” In  a second your mind is thinking, ” I hope they say ‘No, I’ve got to go home,” and then you hear instead, “Oh, that would be nice.” In the deep silence of a tired body and mind, you think, “Oh, no!” But you smile and say, “Well, it’s the only kind thing to do.”

Is it really? You serve the coffee with a smile, but the energy might be ” I wish 1 could just go to bed.” They finish, but you ask, “Would you like another cup?” You know what comes next, and here it comes, “Sure, I’ll have another cup!”

As you pour the second cup, your mind is placing the energy in the coffee, “Wow, what a jerk! How insensitive can they be?” Well, I guess as thick as you make them. Finally, they’re out the door and you sigh, “Thank God, I thought they’d never leave.” This, as you see, indeed is no way to build good feelings for a friendship.

“Remember, I can’t hear what you are saying for what you are is too loud!”

Believe me, they got the message, for it is a strong under tide.

Let’s go back and do it right, with honesty of where you are, and the tact of an enlightened person:

You arrive at your front door

“Thanks for being a friend. I’m so tired, I can’t wait to shower and get to bed. I would like to show my appreciation, can I take you to lunch tomorrow?” Your friend says, “Oh, that’s okay, I was glad to help. What are friends for? Good night. See you tomorrow. Sleep tight.” “Remember, I want to take you to lunch or whatever. Good night,” These are two different
scenarios. You decide how you fit into the picture.

Love, like friends, needs no sacrifice. Giving is a joy when it keeps honesty and tact as its companions.

Friends will accept you as you are, for they know you are safe in your own truth. My father would say, “You don’t have to give an explanation, your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it.”

We do such STRANGE things to be loved, or just to be liked. Later, those we TRIED to please, say, ” I like them, but there’s something about them that’s strange.”

Let me show you in words, another picture of self-presentation going strange on itself. We’ve set the stage – I call this my spinach syndrome.

A young person (or older, for that matter), after a long search, finds love. You remember dating, smiling, laughing at the jokes, tossing your head just so, being that enticing, perfect person?

Finally, an invitation to dinner at their house. The beginning of sharing house and meals, ” I’ll show them that having me around is wonderful for them.”

You remember those times, don’t you? I presume you are still a part of the living.

ACT II – THE MEAL — THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER

You arrive with flowers, wine in your hand, whatever; for really, it is your heart that is in your hand, and you are now about to give it away. I didn’t say “share” but “give” it away.

Yes, we are all wired now. Love is two people looking in the same direction, not just at each other.

Okay, we now see him/her sitting at the table, the significant other-to-be is playing off the stove like it’s a musical instrument suited for the melody of courting. In their hands, the finest soufflé made to date; the expression of shy talent now bold and eager to please.

Here we go. The soufflé is set on the table, candles lit. As it is now being dished up, you recognize that it’s spinach and the truth of the matter is you HATE SPINACH – DAMN, DAMN – be careful (full of care for another to your own detriment.) You think, “I had better say, ‘Wow, that’s great'” for you have looked and waited so long to get this far, “Don’t blow it!”

You convince the other person that it’s the best meal you have ever had, and so, “The die is cast. The bread is upon the water ” The other-to-be now has been signaled that to please you; ” I’ll make this spinach soufflé for every special occasion.”

You should know that sooner or later, when fear or frustration needs an argument of release, these words will be spoken, no matter what the argument is about, ” I hate spinach pie! Each special dinner was built on your secret pie so you wouldn’t ‘blow it ‘ and that’s the truth of the matter.” Either tell the truth or develop a love for spinach to enjoy that expression of love baked within it shared at every special occasion.

This is a behavior pattern seemingly inherent in all of us. Let us be enlightened or simply, at least, mature. Let’s see it over again with care, full of honesty and tact, not careful, but full of care.

Now, once again, from the top: The soufflé is set on the table, candles lit. You see that it’s spinach soufflé. ” It looks great, but I’ve got to tell you, I’ve got this problem with spinach; but you made it for me and I’m going to have a taste of it.”

You’ve been truthful now, with love. Chances are you will like it just enough, or you will be (catch this now) cute about it. Yes, I said “cute.” Don’t be so mature that you forget cute is a HELL of a lot better than deceit and its frustrations.

When you are getting to know a friend, don’t blow it. Remember, you are getting to know each other and, with time, comes accumulated knowledge, anxious to become wisdom. I know what makes you happy and I am happy. The subject and object are one, the verb is copulative: I am happy—happy am I.

If you are happy, notify your face.

UMS Founder Damien Simpson