Reflections on Friendship

by Peter Milhado PHD on February 17, 2010

Thomas Moore tells us if the body is in pain one of the first things to look at is the infection – if the soul is in pain, we might look for a lack of friendship. Friendship offers the soul intimacy and relatedness, without intimacy the soul goes starving. Throughout our lives we encounter many people, yet only a few become friends’ and only a very few become truly intimate friends – soul mates.

Friendship doesn’t necessarily require compatibility. We can make a deep connection with another human being in spite of the differences in politics, opinions and beliefs. Friendship is not a union of personalities, it is an attraction and magnetism of souls. It is as though the soul recognizes the hidden treasure in the other and we become allies.

A soulful activity like friendship is primarily supported in a neighborhood of local stores, porches and safe walkways where people can see and get to know each other, not in suburban housing developments and palaces with elaborate security systems. When we hurt we talk to a friend because we know no matter how unusual our thoughts, secrets and feelings they are safe, contained in the protective vessel of friendship. What I might tell one friend I might not tell another – each friendship is unique and stands alone. To the soul, there is hardly anything more healing than friendship. For the bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship (William Blake). In friendship we want to receive and be received – it’s about dialogue not about monologue. At bottom, we are all fellow pilgrims, there is no master and no student.

When I have opened my heart to a friend I am more myself than ever, Friendship takes time, loyalty, self revelation and risk taking. We can’t make the grass grow by pulling it. In the long run, we get no more than we have been willing to risk giving (Sheldon Kopp). Competition, envy, selfishness, greed, jealousy are the enemies of friendship – yet all of us have at least a few of these characteristics in our personalities. Only when we take a long look at ourselves and cop to these shadow traits, do we have a choice not to act them out and destroy friendships.

Love to Mother Meera. One for all and all for one.

Peter Milhado © 2010

These articles are also published in our local paper the

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

howard March 7, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Hah!! missed me. I’ve got friends, lots & lots. I don’t think you noted that friendships are hard work.

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