Over the past few years my views about friendships have changed significantly. The older I get the more I am understanding and taking away the boundaries that society places on friendships and love.
First I have to say that the most valuable thing I have learned is that the “Human heart has an unlimited ability to love, to love as deeply and as many as we want”. We as a society have placed huge boundaries on love and connections especially between men. We fear loving to deeply. We fear that if we love to deeply that it is not normal and we also have a great fear of expressing that deep love to others. I have found that it makes most uncomfortable when someone expresses love to them and if it gets to emotional we run for cover.
Let me explain a little bit more. We often think that deep love is reserved for marriage, and family. Outside that it is not encouraged. Often times even in family situations we may love, but fail to express that love. We grow up thinking that if we feel love to deeply or express it to much that it is not a normal practice outside of the family and marriage and for many even in the home. So we have a society aching for love and affirmation of the love.
For me being a Christian man I look to Christ as my example in all things. I have found no teaching where we have been taught to be cautious and reserved in who we love and how deeply we love. Yes with reason there are boundaries on how we physically express that love, but even at that we take it to far as a society and culture.
We know and understand that Christ was the greatest lover of all time. Meaning he was the Master in teaching and loving. That is all he taught and in all his actions you can see his deep love for all. There are detailed events in the bible and great discoursed of how he loved. His relationship with his apostles was a gift and example to us. Think of John the Beloved and even Judas who betrayed him with a kiss. These are amazing examples of love that has no boundaries or limits. And his love was not limited to a just few in his close social circle, he love all, from the sinner to the most righteous.
I believe that one of the greatest gifts God has given us it the ability to love as many and as deeply as we want, no limits, no boundaries.
One of the biggest things for me is to come to understand just how much we limit our experience out of fear or what others might think. As I have learned to place the fears aside and follow my heart I have developed a greater understanding of just how amazing this journey can be.
I have found that there are no boundaries that cannot be overcome for friendship. Some of those include age, gender, gender identity, nationality, religion, political views, social standing, companion choice, and the list goes on.
In the past I have had an amazing experiences developing great friendships with men that are years younger than me. At first I wondered about that and have come to understand that age is not even a boundary. We each, no matter where we are in the journey, have great gifts to share with one another and as we take away the boundaries and social expectations our live are enriched with wonderful friendships.
Can one have to many best friends? Can one love another to deeply? The answer is a resounding no. The human heart with it’s unlimited ability to love is indeed an amazing gift from God.
Along with the ability to love also comes the ability to express that love in word and touch. Often times just saying “I love you” is not enough. Actually pulling someone into a hug and embracing them can express deep heart felt feelings and in the process create an even greater connection and often times even heal hearts.
I have been redefining friendships my whole life and in the process have let many into my heart and my life is richer and has more meaning. Isn't that what the Savior had in mind as he taught “love your neighbor as your self”. I firmly believe that to actually love our neighbors, taking away all boundaries is experiencing heaven on earth.
Enjoy the Journey.