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The 3 Types of Friendship and the Value They Bring to Your Life

The 3 Types of Friendship and the Value They Bring to Your Life

“Such is friendship, that through it we love places and seasons; for as bright bodies emit rays to a distance, and flowers drop their sweet leaves on the ground around them, so friends impart favor even to the places where they dwell.

With friends even poverty is pleasant. Words cannot express the joy which a friend imparts; they only can know who have experienced. A friend is dearer than the light of heaven, for it would be better for us that the sun were exhausted than that we should be without friends.” ~ Saint John Chrysostom

FRIENDSHIP

Friendship is a universal language. No matter what our age, race, color, gender, or social status may be, we all seek the love and support of our friends. We all want to be a friend and have a friend. But are all friendships beneficial? Are they all meant to bring us joy, fulfillment and happiness? Well, this is exactly what today’s post is all about.

Based on Clement’s of Alexandria idea of that there are three types of friendships, I felt inspired to go a little bit deeper and share my own thoughts and ideas on the subject.

The 3 Types of Friendship and the Value They Bring to Your Life

1. The friendship built on virtue

“Perfect friendship is the friendship of men who are good, and alike in excellence; for these wish well alike to each other qua good, and they are good in themselves.” ~ Aristotle

There are people in this world who strive for perfection; people who are virtuous, pure and loving… who long for God realization and seek union with that which is sacred and divine. It is between these kinds of people that the highest and most noble form of friendship is formed.

When the love for the sacred has driven away the lust for the things of the world, our whole being is made free and we can love with a love that is no longer human, but rather divine. A love that unites rather than separates… a love that recognizes itself in the other and the other in itself. 

This is the highest and most noble form of friendship. For it brings people together, no longer living as separate entities—you and I—but rather as ONE. And when love, help and support are given, they are given freely—out of love for the Divine and not to get something in return.

How can you find this kind of friendship? How can you cultivate it? 

By turning your attention from the world of the senses— with all its stories of fear, terror and separation—and by learning to see through the inner eye of spirit—as God, no longer with your eyes of flesh—as Man; By going within and by finding The One within who loves all and is a friend to all;

By surrendering yourself fully—mind, body and spirit—to this Greater Power so that you can finally realize your Divine nature and become a vessel and a channel for the eternal that has been always deeply hidden and present within your own heart and soul.

You cultivate this love by loving something far greater than yourself. For as St. Clare of Assisi and many others like her, 

“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking… rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God´s compassionate love for others.” ~ St Clare of Assisi

2. The friendship built on reciprocity

“Be a reflection of what you’d like to see in others!If you want love, give love; if you want honesty, give honesty; if you want respect, give respect. You get in return what you give!” ~ Anon

You know how the saying goes: do unto others as you would like done unto yourself. And the second type of friendship is built on this law. 

As human beings, we like to know that we can count on our friends; that as we give of ourselves and our gifts to them, in return we will also receive with the same measure that we gave, or even greater. 

This is a type of friendship that is social and respectful. A kind of friendship that makes life safe and comfortable.  

How can you find this kind of friendship? How can you cultivate it?

By being a generous, kind and loving friend. By showing up for those you love and by treating your friends as you would want them to be treated. In doing so, your friends will learn from your generosity how you want to be loved, and hopefully, they will love you the same in return. 

Be a reflection of what you’d like to see in others! If you want love, give love; if you want honesty, give honesty; if you want respect, give respect. And know that you will always get in return what you have given…

3. The friendship built on habit, or sensual pleasures

“Pleasure, Rob Lustig pointe out is “This feels good. I want more.Happiness on the other hand, is “This feels good. I am contented. I am complete.”” ~ Dr. Gabor Mate 

The third and last form of friendship is based on worldly pleasures, and thus, it is always changing and not fulfilling. This is a superficial form of friendship where people use external things like: looks, achievements, status, money, etc. to form their friendships that do not bring them happiness, but rather inner turmoil.

Why? Because it is based on pleasure, not on happiness. And pleasure is never satisfied. Pleasure is always hungry and always wants more and more… Happiness however does not.

How can you find this kind of friendship? How can you cultivate it?

By going against your nature and by looking outside yourself for joy, love, validation and fulfillment. By taking your value from what you do and have and not from who you truly are underneath it all. By chasing externals, empty dreams and romantic conquests and by treasuring the unessential above all else…

Luminita d. Saviuc
Luminita, the founder of purposefairy, is an enthusiastic student of the arts, psychology, and spirituality. Her acclaimed blog post, 15 things you should give up to be happy , was shared by over 1.3 million people on facebook. Later on, it became the heart of her book, 15 things you should give up to be happy, book that will be published by penguin random house in march 2016. For more details check out the about page.

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