"A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Who's Your Masterpiece of Nature?
Who doesn't long for a play pal or best friend--someone who understands you, enjoys your company and at the same time understands sometimes you need to be alone? As Emerson said a friend may indeed be the masterpiece of nature.
Who do you count as a friend? What are the qualities of your masterpiece of nature? Good listener? Non-judgmental? Serious or deep? Funny or Fun? One with fur or skin?
To me, a friend is someone I can be myself with and who is fully herself when she is with me. We know we can share secrets as we mull over the day letting the difficulties of the day disappear as we examine in detail our responses to whatever excitement occurred. We know we can talk or not--and we won't be judged no matter what.
So if you're currently feeling alone and left out--how do you develop your masterpieces of nature--those friends you hold dear to your heart and you to theirs? How do you move from feeling lonely and alone to feeling loved, accepted and a part of things?
The Only Way to have a Friend is to be One
Take a lesson from the boy and dog in Sawyer Zook's painted tile above. They 'Get It!'--as they demonstrate what Emerson said, "The only way to have a friend is to be one".
You must put time and energy into establishing a relationship and this means spending time playing with each other if you are to develop a lasting relationship. That is why dogs are such great 'Gurus of Play'--they are unselfconscious about insisting we spend time with them in play. They simply walk up to you and expect you want to play too.
But how do you start to establish a relationship when you're feeling unsure in the beginning? You get over yourself and simply step in. Accept the self-consciousness and nervousness as the natural feelings of facing the unknown.
In the beginning we're all self-conscious about spending time with someone we don't know. But if you learn to take the focus off yourself and put it on a 'play activity' instead it gives you something outside of yourself to focus on. When you spend time with others in a shared activity it gives you time to get a sense of how compatible you are.
What Is Play?
To find like-minded people to play with you need to seek out activities YOU enjoy---that YOU define as play--and get involved. It is through your active involvement in activities you find engaging that puts you in contact with others who share your interests and open opportunities to develop friendships.
Play is defined as YOUR play--activities that engage YOUR interest. If you're not a person who 'enjoys having fun' find something serious to sink your teeth into.
Growing up I watched my serious physicist father who had no interest in games or traditional 'play' activities come alive when engaged in animated conversations with his physicist colleagues. He was also an avid gardener, bee keeper and animal keeper who enjoyed camping and hauling horse manure. His interests were playing with the universe in his mind and running practical experiments at home.
So don't sit at home alone sulking and feeling lonely. Get out there and find your masterpieces of nature. Put the time into creating and maintaining your masterpieces and you'll reap the greatest reward of nature--a friend.
"It is one of the beautiful compensations in this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Meet the Artist
Footnote: So who do you think is the good boy in Sawyer Zook's Art Tile--the dog or the boy? Hard to tell--isn't it? And isn't that the way it should be--when you're immersed in having fun with a friend, no one really thinks about it.
Debi Blair's 3rd grade class at Walker Elementary school in Ashland, Oregon painted tiles to create a bright, cheerful entrance to the dog kennels at the Jackson County Animal Shelter. Their creative and fun spirits come through in their art. Come on down to the Shelter to see what a difference their tile art makes.
Sign Up for Free E-mail updates
For more than 30 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.
If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, join the Lightarted Living mailing list. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.