UNITY OF VANCOUVER
 3814 FRANKLIN ST. VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON 98660  360-696-0996

How to Find Friendly Friends
Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
  September 26, 2021

 All Rights Reserved

 


MEDITATION



I invite you to close your eyes and imagine a ball of white light resting just above your head. With your next inward breath, breathe in white light and take it all the way down through your chakras to your feet forming a puddle of white light beneath your feet and merging with Earth Mother. With your outward breath, see that white light moving up from Earth Mother, through the body to your heart chakra. Breathing in white light down through the body to your feet and breathing out white light up from Earth Mother and into your heart chakra.

Now see in your heart, a closed beautiful green flower, revolving slowly and floating in the darkness of space, serene, peaceful, and in eternal bliss.  As you become more secure in your self-love, the outer petals begin to slowly, gently, unfold.  As each petal unfolds, the tip of each petal begins to glow pink with the knowledge of self-love.

With each breath of light into your heart chakra, feel the armor of daily living peeling away until the flower in your heart is fully open, receptive, and beginning to gently spin throwing green and pink light in all directions and until you notice small points of light hovering in the distance and moving toward you.  As they move closer you realize that they are the heart flowers of your family and friends. You can feel their love energy reaching out to caress you and as they spiral closer you are able to see their faces.  They are thrilled to touch you on the spiritual plane and surround your heart flower in a circle of healing, forgiveness, light, love, and joy.

As the energy rises you whirl and spiral in your sacred orbits making up the very essence of life and revealing the revolving pattern of countless lifetimes together. As you breath in the light and music you hear them tell you how important your friendship is to the others in your life, and you realize that you are important to your friends just as you are. In some way, let them know that you accept them just as they are, without losing anything of yourself. As you breath in the power of love and breathe out the fears and doubts you realize that on the spiritual plane everyone can be the best, they are meant to be including you.

As the knowing of your own self-worth radiates out from the tips of your heart flower, the dance begins to slow down until each heart flower floats off serenely to be in its own space.  See and feel the rays of light and love that form your connection with everyone and everything in the universe.  You are at oneness with yourself, which makes you at one with all.  Breathe deeply pulling the pink light through all your being and be healed by knowing that as long as you have yourself for a friend, you will never be alone.  Know that you deserve your friends and that they deserve a fine and spiritual person like you in their lives. Honor your higher power as it is reflected in your friends.  This is the face of the Goddess. This is the face of God, and it is an honor to see it.  Breath in this knowing and bring your meditation to a close by speaking the Prayer of Protection.
“The light of God surrounds us; the love of God enfolds us.  The power of God protects us.  The presence of God watches over us. Wherever we are God is, uniting us all as friends.  Amen.

HOW TO FIND FRIENDLY FRIENDS


Thankfully, none of us must stand alone in this big wide world.  Not only is God always with us, but God puts on ‘skin’ and walks with us through this earthly life as our friends.  Your friends are an important part of your support system and this area of life like all the areas of our lives needs to be spiritualized. There are two kinds of friends and it’s important to pay attention to the difference.

1. 
There are friends that pull you down and try to keep you from moving forward. It helps to think of them as Lower-self friends.

2. 
There are friends that pull you up and support your growth. The kind of friends that say, “Sure you can do it.”  “Go for it.”  “Even if it doesn’t work out, there is always something out there for you.”  “Whatever happens, you’ll learn a lot.”  Think of these as Higher-self friends.

You may be surprised to find that there are people in your life, people you’ve considered friends that just may not be capable of having your best interests at heart because they are too fearful. Use the included handout to help you use today’s lesson to your greatest advantage.
 To begin:

1.
List six friends you often talk to about the happenings of your life.  If you can’t list 6, that’s nothing to be upset about.   Some of us have just one or two intimate friends.

_____________________             ______________________

_____________________         ______________________

_____________________       ______________________

2.  Now ask yourself:  which of these friends are “Be careful” friends. (Lower self-friends) and which are “Go for it” friends (Higher-Self friends)?  List which friends hold you back and which encourage you to go forward?

     Be Careful Friends                                   Go For It Friends

______________________                 ______________________

______________________                 ______________________

_____________________                  ______________________

So, what have you discovered so far?

It should be clear to you now, who to talk to when you want to move forward in your life!  It’s not those friends who are oriented more towards
being careful’ can’t be your friends; simply don’t go to them when you need ‘courage.’  It will just frustrate you, make you angry at them and disappointed in them.

So, what do you do if all your friends belong to the ‘Be Careful’ category?  That’s simple:  Make new friends who belong to the Go for It’ category. Unity is full of “Go for it friends.”  But there is something else you need to do before you set out on this exciting adventure and that is to take a Self-Inventory.  Always remember the Universal Law: Like Attracts Like. Your friends are a great mirror of your own behavior. The next step is to answer the following questions as truthfully as you can.

A. Generally speaking are you a
“Go for it” friend or a “Be careful ‘friend?”  Do you encourage your friends to go for what they want, or do you constantly warn them of possible failure in whatever they are attempting to do?  Check which best describes your interaction with friends.

         I am a
“Be careful” (Lower-Self) friend.     _______

                                     OR

         I am a
“Go for it” (Higher-Self) friend.         ________

B.     
Do you spend a lot of time complaining to your friends?  Are your conversations of the “moan and groan” variety or are they of the “positive and appreciative” variety?

I spend a lot of time complaining to my friends.  ______

                   (Lower Self)

                                     OR

Our conversations are usually upbeat even when one of us is going through a bad time.  We laugh through our tears.  (Higher Self)    ______

If you gave the
Lower-Self answer to both, that’s ok.  This isn’t about judging and condemning yourself. The goal here is to take an inventory so that you can learn how to pull yourself up into the Higher-Self category so that you have a greater chance of drawing Higher-Self friends into your life.  Now, how do you do this?

Well, that’s the next step.

Think of 10 Higher-Self qualities you would like to have in your friends and write them down. Some possible Higher-Self qualities are positive, helpful, caring, appreciative and enthusiastic. These qualities contrast with Lower-Self qualities such as:  negative, self-involved, insensitive, and stuck.  Do you get the picture? SPIRITUAL FACT: You want friends with these qualities because these are the qualities you are trying to grow in yourself.

10 Higher-Self qualities I’d like to have in my friends are:

1._______________________________________________.

2._______________________________________________.

3._______________________________________________.

4._______________________________________________.

5._______________________________________________.

6._______________________________________________.

7._______________________________________________.

8._______________________________________________.

9._______________________________________________.

10.______________________________________________.

The next step may surprise you.
In the privacy of your own home look into a mirror and begin developing these Higher Self qualities in yourself by affirming them.  “I am positive.  I am a helpful person.” As you become what you would like to find in your friends, it will be easier and easier to draw into your life the kind of friends you want because like attracts like!

You must become the observer of your own behavior and start creating a Higher-Self way of being in the world. A byproduct of this inner work is that you will open your 6th chakra and that will enable you to become ‘the observer’ of all your conversations with friends and others.  Once you have this spiritual skill you will never lose it – though sometimes you may wish you could! As the observer of your conversations, you will notice yourself thinking in a Lower-Self way. When you ‘catch yourself being the ‘little you’ just say to yourself,
“Ah, I’m thinking Lower-Self thoughts again.” This is not judgment in the sense of valuing something. It is simply a statement of fact. Judgment and self-condemnation are not a part of this process. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “Say, yea, yea, or nay, nay.”

Here’s how it works. You observe yourself, and if you are thinking Lower self-thoughts, say “no” to them. Then, choose again by saying “yes” to Higher Self thoughts.  Do this and you will soon become aware of your Lower Self patterns. Once you are aware of them, you can begin changing them into Higher-Self patterns.  We all have things in our lives that need to be changed.  But it’s a lot easier and much more productive and loving to confront the things that need to be changed from a Higher-Self perspective rather than from a Lower-Self perspective.  The greatest benefit that can be derived from our friendships occurs when we help each other to be the best that we can be, as opposed to buying into each other’s complaints and feelings of helplessness.  You can take the lead and be a Way Shower to your family and friends.

Now that you are on the way to becoming a Higher-Self kind of friend, the next question is:
  How do you go about meeting other Higher-Self friends?

Here are the steps to take: List 6 people you have admired as acquaintances and would like to get to know as friends.  Hopefully, these are people who are living their lives in a way you respect.

______________________                 ______________________

______________________                 ______________________

_____________________                  ______________________

Now, the next part is the toughest part of this lesson for many of us:
“Give these people a call and invite them for lunch or dinner.”

What do you say?  Simply say, “I am calling you because I really admire you as a person and I would love to get to know you better.  I’d like to take you to lunch.” It’s important to risk rejection and take responsibility for making the first approach; to feel the fear and do it anyway. If he or she doesn’t seem interested after a few calls, move on to the next person.  It’s helpful to keep saying to yourself, “No matter how anyone acts toward me, I am a worthwhile person.”  And you certainly are.  Also, as you become more positive, you also become more magnetic, and people will love having a friendship with you.  Another way to meet new friends is to:

List some of the things you love to do in life, or you have wanted to do—for example, horseback riding, politics, going back to school, travel, personal growth workshops, and so on.

______________________                 ______________________

_____________________                  ______________________

Now search your newspapers, community schools and libraries for activities that revolve around those listed interests and sign up for one or more.

IMPORTANT: You need to be willing to go to these activities alone.  When we recruit friends to go with us, we tend to avoid reaching out to meet new people.  Also, remember, if you’re feeling uncomfortable—that’s good!  You are feeling the fear and doing it anyway!

TIP: If you have a hard time reaching out to other people, go get some counseling, join a therapist led self-help group, or do what many therapists recommend to their clients,
“Go to a Unity church.”   Everything we teach in Unity is ‘self-esteem building.’  We teach that we are not alone in our feelings and that it is beautiful to connect meaningfully with others.  Being a part of Unity and a positive group of Higher Self friends has enriched my life.   When you have a circle of positive, powerful, loving friends, you can breathe a sigh of relief.  When you are in need, they will be there to support you—as you will be there to support them.  Higher Self Friends are your safety net for all the situations that may occur in your life!

Here is a little story that
one of my Higher Self Friends, Dawn Redman sent me. A nine-year-old boy was sitting at his desk and suddenly, there’s a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are Wet.  He thinks his heart is going to stop because he can’t possibly imagine how this has happened. It's never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he’ll never hear the end of it. And when the girls find out, they'll never speak to him again.  The boy believes his heart is going to stop, he puts his head down and prays this prayer, "Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help Now!  Five minutes from now I'm dead meat." He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered. As the teacher is walking toward him, a classmate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy's' lap.  The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, "Thank you, God! Thank you, God!" Now suddenly, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy Is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out.  All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk.

The sympathy is wonderful
. But as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else -Susie. She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. "You've done enough, you klutz!" Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, "You did that on purpose, didn't you?" Susie whispers back, "I wet my pants once too."

May God help us see the opportunities that are always around us to be a Higher Self Friend.  I want to close with a writing called “God Said no.”

GOD SAID NO

I asked God to take away my habit. God said,
"No.  It is not for me to take away, but for you to give up."

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.  God said,
"No. His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary."

I asked God to grant me patience. God said,
"No. Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is learned."

I asked God to give me happiness. God said,
"No. I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you."

I asked God to spare me pain. God said,
"No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me."

I asked God to make my spirit grow. God said,
"No. You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful."

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life. God said,
"No. I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things."

I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me. God said, “
Ahhhh, finally you have the idea."

Good friends are like stars...You don't always see them, but you know they are always there. To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world. As someone once said, “If the mind is disciplined, the heart turns quickly from fear to love.”

"May the Lord Bless you and keep you, May the Lord make his face shine upon you, and give you Peace....Forever"

This piece of humor was contributed by our Board Treasurer, Harvey Schuh
It is a list of promises to a friend that really speaks to true friendship:

1. When you are sad - I will help you plot revenge against the sorry jerk who made you sad.

2. When you are blue - I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you are scared - I will tease about it every chance I get.

4. When you are worried - I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be and to quit whining.

5. When you are confused - I will use little words.

6. When you are sick - Stay the heck away from me until you are well again. I don't want whatever you have.

7. When you fall - I will point and laugh at you.

This I pledge it till the end because you’re my friend!


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