True friends are more than just people with whom we spend time. They’re the ones who help us grow, revealing our truest potential. You might say becoming a better friend is our highest priority, spiritually speaking. True friendship is the essence of spirituality, because it is the expression of loving thy neighbor as thyself. By loving another, we are, in the most profound sense, loving God, as God is in all people.
"Improving our own lives is only the result of bringing Light into the lives of those around us."
Here are 5 ways to connect to the Light of the Creator by becoming better friends:
1. Go out of your way to share, even when it is difficult.
Friendship is an incredible opportunity for us to practice unconditional love. This means giving without expectation of anything in return. It can seem nearly impossible to get to a level where we share as selflessly as the Creator does, without looking for emotional gratification or reciprocation in exchange for our good deeds. But the more we work at it, the more instinctive it becomes. It requires of us to give, even when it is uncomfortable, and to do so with no intention for ourselves. The goal should be to connect to the Creator and bring Light into the world through our actions of sharing. When we set our mind in this direction, we open incredible pathways for blessings to enter our lives and the lives of those we love.
2. Encourage them to grow.
Real friends don't just make us feel good about ourselves - they challenge us to grow. This means offering support as our friends try new things, helping them to see new points of view, and accepting them even if they make mistakes along the way. Although no one can do the spiritual work for anyone else, it is so important that everyone have a loving, supportive environment in order to thrive. Helping to create that for someone else is a powerful way to provide motivation and love on their personal journey.
3. Help them connect to the Light.
When we first come to study spirituality, it is often with the intention to help ourselves, whether it be to become more positive minded, to control our anger, or to allow more blessings into our lives. And while all of these things are important, at some point, we realize our spiritual journey is really about helping others. Improving our own lives is only the result of bringing Light into the lives of those around us.
One of the greatest gifts we can give someone is the ability to connect to the Light of the Creator. This does not mean that we force our spiritual beliefs upon them. Instead, tell them about the positive ways your life has been influenced by studying spirituality, or invite them to a class. Most importantly, simply lead by example – show them the power of the Creator through living the spiritual principles you believe.
4. Take time to appreciate the blessings that each friend brings into your life.
It’s easy to take our friendships for granted, but remember that each person is in our life for a reason. Every relationship offers us something unique that we need in order to grow closer to the Creator, even if we don’t know how.
Sometimes our friends drive us crazy, or make us mad or upset, but there is a reason for it. Maybe they are meant to open our eyes to a new way of seeing the world, to challenge us to be more patient, or to show us the areas of ourselves that we need to work on. The truest of friendships aren't void of conflict. They are the ones that survive in spite of conflict and grow through their differences.
"To be a friend is to never count someone out, to see the best in them, and to believe in them achieving their greatest potential.."
5. Believe in them.
The Creator never gives up on us. To be a friend is to never count someone out, to see the best in them, and to believe in them achieving their greatest potential. Sometimes we may not believe in ourselves, but by having just one person to believe in us, our soul can be uplifted to do the work it came into this world to do.
Good friends are both a blessing and a necessity in our spiritual growth. They give us so much in the way of love, support, and encouragement, but more importantly, they provide us a chance to do the same for them in return, which is even more powerful!
As Karen Berg, founder of the Kabbalah Centre, explains, "It has been said that if we have one true friend in our life, then we are truly blessed. But I think the biggest blessing of all would be to become a true friend to another."