I’ve heard it said more than a few times that each of us, by the end of our lives, will be able to count on our own hands, probably just one, the number of soul-deep friendships we’ve known. I wholeheartedly believe this. At least, it’s true for me. So few will genuinely appreciate us for who we are, deeply respect us for what we’ve chosen to believe and love us in spite of and above even our most glaringly unattractive history, mistakes and traits. Each of us are as rare as diamonds. We are all so incredibly unique and special, universally without equal. There are times we won’t believe this to be true of ourselves. But it is as constantly true as the warmth on our face by clear day, originating from a modest star ninety-three million miles away, however seemingly absurd that seems. Our singularity is exposed when those so very few special people come along and intuitively, almost instantly, recognize exactly what a priceless treasure stands before them. That’s us in their eyes, despite our disbelief, and what we might consider to be unapproachable about ourselves has refreshingly nothing to do with what that someone else has deliberately chosen to embrace and celebrate. And, at least in part for that reason, we reciprocate into something akin to magic. All of it, taken as an unshakable kinship, is humbling, healing, motivating and incomparably beautiful. It stands to reason, then, that those kinds of friendships are similarly rare as we are. Like catching a raindrop on the head of a pin: we’re exceedingly fortunate to participate in such unmistakable miracles even once before we breathe our last.
But suffer me for a moment. Because the purpose of this post, and my outside-in perspective on the song above, isn’t at all about another person. It’s about my heart, your heart. Consider this: when did your heart, following itself instinctively, lead you astray? When did your heart, unencumbered by reason or unfooled by a lie or otherwise naked and exposed from behind the veil of selfish ambition, lead you to an emotional or spiritual wasteland? When did your anxious mind know better than the rhythmic, almost child-like, whisperings of that drum-beating truth deep within your chest? I internally tussle to remain speechless in the company of anyone who might suggest that their own heart, acting with honesty and justice and a genuine respect for love, led them to the breaking of the very thing that carried them there.
For the moment, this song, this gratitude, this unfailing faith, this sweet humility I feel…it’s for my own heart. The steadfast friend within. The one that bravely opts to dream the downtrodden dream anyway, even as I struggle to sleep. Doubtlessly, I almost take for granted that my heart will reach rightly, even when tempted to dance on with haphazard imaginings. I emphatically, almost violently, refuse to stop trusting its friendship now.
I spent the first half of life trying to find it. As one would the lap bar on a roller coaster, I’ll spend the last half hanging dearly on to it and all that it safekeeps for me: a sanctuary from judgment, an excitement about tomorrow, a laugh at low expectations, a cleanly lit and clear-eyed perspective, an immediate sensitivity to and a peril-leaping passion for everything that is lovely, honorable, and worthy.
My heart makes me believe. Not only in who I am, but in who I long to be and have yet to become. And, beyond myself, it dares me to dive headlong through whatever briar, in pursuit of even the slightest smile. Meanwhile, it’s quite literally the only thing keeping me alive.