Sunday, February 22, 2015

I Love That Man...

     I remember the day, just like it was yesterday.  I saw him for the first time.   I remember weeping with joy to see him.  It was as if I had known him forever.   I felt like I knew him and had known him and it was all I could do not to throw my arms around him and tell him "It's me, remember".   But of course I could not do that,  he would think me strange or weird.   But each time I saw him I had the same experience.  I remember one day I was in my yard and I didn't even have to turn around, I knew he was outside his house.  I turned around, saw him,  and sat down and wept for joy.   I remember thinking,  I love that man.

    I had just moved from Chandler to Mesa Az.   I was leaving some great friends in Chandler and prayed with all my heart for a friend in the new area.  It had been a trying time for us to make the move and I really wanted a friend.   He lived caddy corner to our home that we had just purchased.  We were members of the same ward, congregation.   I would see him at church and my heart would break,  I wanted to be his friend so bad.  

    One day I could not stand it any longer.  I told my wife I had to meet him.  My wife knows me well and understands me completely.  She encouraged me to go.  I walked across the street and knocked on his door.  They let me in and I introduced myself.   It was all I could do to not just throw my arms around him and hug him.  I had to clasp my hands behind my back and hold them tightly.   I was thrilled beyond words to have met him.  Wow.  

    A few days later his sweet wife was going for a walk with her children and stopped by to say hello.  I broke down in tears as I told her that I loved her husband.   

     This man and I have been best friends now for 24 years.  I love him even more now then I did back in the day.  The moment we meet it was just as if had started off where we had left off,  I believe  leaving off was before we came here.  I have had the strongest feelings of having known him forever and from that experience I have learned to trust those feelings.  

    I remember just a few weeks after we had meet I was with family.  I mentioned that fried doughnuts sounded really good.  The phone rang and he said how good doughnuts sounded.  We hung up and I made doughnuts.  A while later I had a plate ready to take to him and the phone rang,  It was him asking when the doughnuts were going to be done.  He said that he knew if he called me I would make doughnuts.  That is how our friendship was from the very moment we met and still is.   

     The next few years were a great blessing in our lives.  There was an actual dip in the pavement from our going back and forth across the street to each others houses.  We both had small children and responsibilities of providing for our families.  We would shop together every Saturday evening  and most Sunday's we ate together.  Our friendship grew and grew.   True friendships handle hard times.   When he moved I was  broken hearted.  I  could not even talk about it.   But our friendship only grew.  Even when he moved to Virginia, it was great.   All the way over there our spirits were connected.   I think twice he sent money not even knowing why, but just feeling impressed we needed it.  I never mentioned to him the hard times we were having, but he knew.

     He has always been there and at any moment he will drop what he is doing and come when I call.  Sometimes it's just the need to see him, other times there are needs and he is always and has always been there.  We are completely different in so many ways.  He is well educated and a born leader.  He is disciplined and committed in ways that amaze me and baffle me.  He is kind and wise.   I feel before we came here he was my teacher and I can see me sitting at his feet being taught.

     We can go months without speaking and the very moment we are together it is as if not a moment has passed.  We have always understood each other and have been able to share lives burdens with each other never having to worry about feeling stupid or less of a man because of our weaknesses.  When I am with him I desire to be a better person in every way.

    I love this man and I have to say that when he hugs me I feel it deep in my heart.  It is like coming home after a hard day.   There is a great power in  hugs and hugs have the power of lifting like nothing else.

     Now since this blog is about healthy relationships with other men I want to say some things here that might be helpful   I love this man with all my heart.  He is more then a friend, more then a brother,  we are kindred spirits.  It's hard to express how you feel when you have strong feelings like this for another man.  In today's society they would say we are gay.  That when you love another man that way you are gay and if you don't admit it you are in the closet.

      In saying that I want to say that not once in our friendship have I ever had the desire to have a sexual relationship with this man.   Not once have I ever even had the smallest desire to do something inappropriate with him.  There just has never been a need.  I get all I need from him from a good hug and just being in his presence.   It is more than physical, it is spiritual bond we feel and in that bond there  is no need to act out in any inappropriate manner.   In fact we have laughed,  we are very open in our relationship, but we have laughed in how sex would ruin what we have.  It cannot get sweeter then it already is and to add sex to it would destroy the sweetness that we share.

     My friend is gorgeous  to look at.  He is very well built and extremely handsome and he is totally a man's man in every sense of the word,  but he is also sweet, sensitive, spiritual, kind, and gentle.  He is not afraid to share his feelings, and he is not afraid when others share theirs with him.  He knows how to hug,  not the standard 3 second ones, but a good long hug that lifts the spirits and strengthens the friendship.

    It is through this friendship that I have learned to let others in my heart and through this friend I have learned how to make friends with others and really understand the strong spiritual bonds that can exist between two men.  From this friend I have learned eternal principles of friendship,  he has taught me that friendships really do start before we come here and if we recognize them and understand them, those friendships can become the sweetest part of this mortal life and if we treat these friendships with love and respect they will endure forever.  I cannot imagine this life without friends like him and I cannot imagine eternal life without the friendships here we have nurtured and grown by opening up our hearts.  I do love this man and am grateful for his goodness and his friendship.


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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

There are no Limits....

     I have been writing about men in my life that have had a profound effect on me.   In a recent discussion we were talking about best friends and just friendship in general. From that discussion and many more I have come to understand that we put so many limits on our hearts.  From an early age we are taught that if we have just one best friend in our lives we are lucky.  What's up with that?  Talk about limits,  that statement surely limits how many best friends we let into our lives.   And once the goal is achieved we start thinking we have arrived and give no more thought into building best friend relationships with others.

    How tragic to block out meaningful relationships with others simply because that space seems to be taken.  The same principle applies with our hearts.  We place guards around our hearts to protect it from hurt and from caring for to many people at once.  Do we not understand the capacity of the human heart.  THERE ARE NO LIMITS ON HOW MANY PEOPLE WE CAN LOVE OR HOW DEEPLY WE CAN LOVE THEM.  The only limits are the ones we place there.  If we truly understand Christlike love and look to him for the standard we start to understand that we have an unlimited capacity to love.   We have the ability to love as many as we want and love them as deeply as we desire.  That is true Christlike love.  We cannot walk through live with limits and with fears of being hurt or rejected.  Hurt and rejection are a part of life, but the true joys come when we reach out and feel the love and joy that can come from taking the guards off our hearts.  Take down the walls and start to experience life.

     We are taught that there are really only two things we can take with us when we die.  One is our knowledge and the other one is our relationships that we have formed and cultivated.  How sad it is to see lonely people simply because they were afraid of being hurt.

    So for me I will continue looking for best friends.  I have several and would not trade one of them in for anything.   Each one is special to me and I have received different gifts from each one.  Each friendship has brought me joy in many different ways.  Some of my friends are ones that you work at to build the friendship and others are the type that the instant you meet them you are best friends.  Each type has taught me valuable lessons that have enriched my life and given me direction and purpose.   I can go months and months without any communication from most of my friends, but the moment we connect it is like we never were apart.  Some need more contact then others.  Some can go for years without communication, but the sweetness never leaves.   I have found that life is busy for everyone and sometimes it just flies by, but I have learned that is ok.  I used to stress over that, but I realized that if life is busy for me it is busy for others.  So I enjoy the moments we can talk or send a note or randomly meet up some where.  True friendships increase in depth and beauty over time.

     We all need to open up our hearts and take down the guards that put up that keeps us from enjoying the meaning friendships that often times we pass up.   God has given us the incredible ability to love with out limits,  as many and how deeply we want.  I want a life full of meaningful deep relationships that not only blesses my life, but gives me the much needed experience of loving and giving freely of myself to others.  This is were some of the greatest joys come from in this life.  As we open our hearts and love those around us and take the time to cultivate relationships live can take on more meaning and purpose.  One of the main purposes of life is to lift others around us and as we work on building meaning relationships it opens the door for greater opportunities to serve and lift others around us and in the process of lifting we are lifted up beyond our natural ability to do even greater things.

     I truly hope your life is filled with meaningful relationships and I hope that because of your efforts to reach out and touch those around you that your life is filled with joy and completeness.  If you are feeling lonely and sad, perhaps its time to make a new best friend.


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