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The Forgotten Art Of True Friendship

Click the picture to get a free psychic reading at PsychicAccess.comFriends, as opposed to acquaintances or associates, are a rare find. We are typically a society of users and takers, where social networking has erroneously become synonymous with friendship. In fact, friendship and networking has very little in common.

As children of the Information Age, we have become acculturated to disconnection as a norm, merely using each other and calling it friendship when it is mutually beneficial, and calling it a variety of unsavory names when it is not mutually beneficial.  Friendship for business and networking is quite different from true friendship.

Fake friends are like shadows: always near you at your brightest moments, but nowhere to be seen at your darkest hour. True friends are like stars, you don’t always see them but they are always there ~ Habeeb Akande

One of the added burdens of success, of any kind, is the strain it can put on true friendship. When you are failing or struggling professionally, you can be pretty sure of the friendship of others, as they have nothing to gain from knowing or associating with you.

However, when you are successful or thriving, random people tend to gravitate toward you to share the spotlight. What makes it more complicated is that people are completely unconscious that they are doing this, and usually feel insulted if the observation is made, or their motives questioned.

One sign of a ‘non-friend friend’ is their inability to discuss this as a potential dynamic. You can be sure someone is not a friend if you bring up this topic and the person either attacks you for even having the thought, or stops communicating with you.

If you work in the helping professions, such as therapy, healing, and teaching, it is difficult to turn off your talent or gift. Unlike a car mechanic, or an artist, helper talents are always operating, and therefore one must somehow develop your own ‘off switch,’ as well as choose the company you keep with great care.

Another complication is a kind of transference (to use a term from mainstream Psychology) whereby clients begin to believe that they are your personal friend, when in fact it has always been a one-way relationship from helper to client. Many of us are starved for the closeness of friendship and often clients believe their helper to be a friend, because they have revealed their deepest secrets and feelings to you.

And then there are helpers who use their profession to gain friends. Some helpers are too insecure to have deep friendships with equals, and embrace the vulnerability of their clients as a buffer to feel safe enough to become friends with a non-equal.

These are all tricky issues, and there are no easy answers, but the questions should be asked, and addressed.

Helpers and spiritual professionals can also find themselves being used by people who declare themselves to be friends, in order to get on-going, free consultation sessions. True friends don’t ask for free services, nor do they even want ‘in’ on the gifts or talents of another. True friends want to support their friends in their business and in their success, and will typically insist on paying.

I despise the rituals of fake friendship. I wish we could just claw each other’s eyes out and call it a day; instead we put on huge radiant smiles and spout compliments until our teeth hurt from the saccharine sweetness of it all ~ Jody Gehrman

On the other hand, non-friends participate in what they consider to be mutually beneficial encounters swapping friendship for sessions or readings. Sadly, they typically set this arrangement up in their own mind with no discussion with their helper ‘friend.’

One way to identify if you have a friend or a non-friend requesting your services is to consider the consistency of their friendship. True friends keep relationships going at all times, while non-friends initiate contact only when they are having a problem, issue, or emotional challenge and are often unavailable when they are in a good place in their own life.

When we were all indigenous people, living in tribes and villages, the medicine people, shamans, and other wise ones were respected as citizens with a sacred job. But when they were ‘off duty’ they were just men and women who also lived in the village. They ate, slept, farted, joked, had relationships and made mistakes, as we all do as part of the human journey.

When  they were working, it was understood that something else was coming through that was beyond human, bigger than this world. It was understood you cannot and do not ‘hustle’ the energy of the Great Beyond by trying to befriend the shaman or healer in order to score some free sacred messages! The practitioner who channeled these energies for the village or tribe was treated with respect, and honored for the sacrifices that they made to be able to channel these energies. Yet, they were also welcomed and nurtured in the community as a fellow human being… and allowed to be human.

In the modern helping and spiritual professionals (including being any kind of therapist) there is the added cultural expectation that the practitioner should be rather perfect. This is as ridiculous as expecting a doctor to never get sick. I personally like working with professional helpers who disclose, which is something that is not encouraged in most practices. I want to know what demons the person has personally tackled, before they tackle mine. I want to see how they live their life.

Since we do not live in tribes or villages anymore, we no longer intimately know our shamans or medicine people. We often do not really know who is treating or guiding us. And modern practitioners also have little chance to be human when off duty. What a sad state of affairs.

Friendship is a rare jewel. It is the gift of being truly seen and seeing another for all their sacred gifts, while enjoying and loving all of their humanity. What an honor it is to see the Creator in another, allowing that to flourish and shine, and at the same time humbly accepting the human-ness of the person, and being able to play and break bread together. This is the basis of great love, be it a mate or a friend. A rare jewel indeed.

About The Author: Nonna

Nonna lives in Southern California, and is a professor of psychology and a teacher of psychic development, energy work and meditation, who has recently finished her PhD. She has been a counselor for both humans and animals for thirty years, removing energy blocks through her expertise in the spiritual arts. She also has numerous years of study and practice with classic psychological therapeutic models, family work, twelve-step processes, nutritional and body/mind/spirit healing, complementary, alternative, and quantum medicine. Nonna is brilliant at unearthing the gems in every client's soul and polishing them to a fine finish. To release your own soul's sparkle, contact Nonna at

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