Treasures of Friendship
Letters from the Heart
Sometimes it's hard to come straight out and tell our friends how much we love and appreciate them. We might feel awkward expressing deep feelings, even to our nearest and dearest, because it is not a common practice. We might get choked up or embarrassed in the process, or we might fear we will embarrass them. Still, we all have those moments when we realize how fortunate we are to have the friends we have, and we may long to express our gratitude. Moreover, it may be of tremendous benefit to our friends to be at the receiving end of our appreciation. At times like these, writing a letter can help us say what we want to say without feeling self-conscious. Additionally, a letter gives your friend the space to really take in your expression of love and the gift of being able to return to it time and again.
As you sit down to write to your friend, take a moment to consider the qualities you most value in your friendship. It might be the fact that you always laugh when you talk or that you feel safe enough to confess your worst problems and always leave feeling better about everything. It might be the new ideas and experiences you've been exposed to throughout the course of your friendship. Whatever it is, really take the time to express to your friend their unique impact on your life. You don't have to use big words or fancy metaphors; all you need to do is write from your heart and your friend will feel the love in the words.
Letters, which used to be somewhat common, are now rare. A handwritten letter makes a wonderful gift to be treasured always. You might simply send it or hand deliver it out of the blue. Whatever you choose, your letter will no doubt be received and treasured with a grateful heart.
The Pursuit of Conscious Wholeness
Striking the right balance between our physical and spiritual aspects is one of the most challenging aspects of existence. We are dual beings by nature, spiritual entities bound to earth by physical bodies. In our lifetimes, we are charged with the duty of nurturing and tending both with equal devotion and love. Yet while both aspects of the self are deserving of honor and respect, there is a tendency for people who are more spiritually focused to ignore, avoid, or dismiss their bodies. Similarly, many individuals are entirely ensconced in the carnal realm and pay no attention to the needs of the soul. In both cases, an adjustment is in order. We are whole only to the degree that we embrace both sides of our beings.
If the soul is the inward manifestation of our consciousness, the body is the living, breathing expression of that consciousness. The physical self provides the home in which the spiritual self takes root and flourishes. Just as we must tend to the seed of the soul to ensure that it grows strong, so, too, must we care for the protective shell that is the body to make certain it is capable of playing its role in our development. Though there will no doubt be times in our lives when we feel more comfortable focusing on the spiritual self or the physical self, denying the fundamental importance of one or the other can lead to ill health, emotional distress, and a sense of incompleteness. Both facets of the human experience play a vital role in our well-being.
The body and the soul are the yin and yang of our current reality. They are, at this point of human evolution, irreparably bound together, and many spiritual teachers agree that the body is one of the greatest vehicles through which to access the soul. In fact, many believe that our spirit has chosen to be embodied as an essential part of our spiritual development. Consequently, it is the responsibility of each person on the planet to forge a marriage between the two, so that these disparate aspects bring out the best in each other, creating a vibrant, dynamic, and workable whole.