I had a very interesting realization this past week, one that (in other times) would have caused me great sadness but now is simply fascinating. It began with a FB post by a friend of mine - one of those posts of a picture with some general saying about best friends being very important. We were all asked to 'like' it if we agreed. Before I could agree, I was hit by a sudden thought.
"I don't have a best friend any more".
I was shocked. I could not believe it. Could that possibly be true?
I recently had lunch with my best friend from High School and that was wonderful. We just picked up right where we left off the last time we saw each other - about five years ago, I think - and had a great time. However, I only see her about once every five or ten years so, no, she is not my best friend anymore.
In September I am supposed to go spend some time with my best friend from college but we are so different now we don't really have a lot in common any more. I plan on having a great time but I doubt I will see her again for another year or more.
My 'best friend in sobriety' no longer believes she is an alcoholic. She drinks when she wants and when she doesn't, she doesn't. She and her husband are moving to Bend, Oregon.
I have friends. I have some lovely friends. I just do not have a best friend.
And shouldn't that make me sad or something?
I have been really pondering this because I know I am used to be an overly dramatic alcoholic woman who takes, very seriously, the state of "being lonely". It occurs to me that, as my spiritual life deepens, maybe my dependence upon Jesus Christ and His Church is becoming stronger. Maybe, just maybe, I am beginning to understand what that whole 'detachment' thing is that the Al-Anons always talk about as desirable.
Now, I am not saying I have my selfish, self-centered ways conquered. No, not by any means. I still would like my life to be a certain way and part of me is certain that winning the Super Lotto might end all my problems. No, I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. However, I am beginning to get a glimpse of that state of being the great saints share - the ability to love people without being a part of the world. I kind of, sort of 'get it'.
It is not that one despises people, it is just understanding that their love and interest is not necessary for individual happiness. It is understanding that we despise the sins of the world and the needs of the world but accept that we are to act as Christ in the world to the best of our ability.
It is understanding that our responsibility as citizens and our longing for our true home in heaven co-exist in the heart and mind of the Catholic - we render what is due to Cesar but we don't rely upon Cesar for our true happiness.
Anyway, it was an amazing realization. I no longer have a best friend. I have, however, a large group of fabulous and loving friends. I love being here, but my true home is to come and now it is my responsibility to make sure I get there by persevering an running the race to the end, as St Paul wrote.
Life is good today.
Thank you, Lord, for this life.