Most of us experience various relationships during our lives, starting with our immediate families and expanding to acquaintances and other, more personal levels of friendship. The word friend in the Encarta Dictionary has several definitions, with the first three listed as such: 1) someone emotionally close or someone who trusts and is fond of another; 2) Acquaintance: someone who thinks well of or is on good terms with someone else; 3) an ally, or someone who is not an enemy. But what does friendship really mean and what does it mean to be a friend to someone? On a general level, it can mean having the same beliefs or working together for the same causes. On others, it can mean being so compatible with another person to the point that you very often know how the other person will react to a given situation and possibly how that person will reply when asked a specific question. Beyond that, there is the type of friendship that is often rare but which most of us hope for during our lives, even if we do not realize we’re doing it. A best friend is someone who can always tell how you are feeling just by hearing your voice and who will drop everything to come to your aid if/when needed. This type of close bond happens very seldom, but when it does you’ll know it.
But what is the true meaning of friendship? Is it all of the above, or is there more to it than meets the eye? When you feel very close to someone not in your immediate family, there is usually a familiarity there that is not always easily explainable. In a situation of “déjà vu” (already seen), many of us experience having the feeling that we have been to a certain location or had a certain conversation previously when we know we haven’t. Sometimes with a very close friendship it can feel exactly like that, as if we have known the person previously, although we know we’ve never met them in our current lifetime. If we read some of the research that has been done regarding the subject of reincarnation, it may say that this déjà vu feeling we have with a close friend is because our souls have encountered each other before in other lifetimes. It we think about it that way, it seems to make much more sense than any other explanation.
But over and above any definitions or possible explanations, there is one explanation that truly fits for all of us. At the center of our core selves, the soul within us knows that we are all connected and that we can often recognize that connection in another. If we allowed ourselves to look at everyone else with kindness and compassion and from that inner perspective, we would see that we are a part of a much larger and more divine relationship that links us all.