"The condition which high friendship demands is ability to do without it. There must be very two, before there can be very one. Let it be an alliance of two large, formidable natures, mutually beheld, mutually feared, before yet they recognize the deep identity which beneath these disparities unites them."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
During my hikes this week, I've been reflecting on the fact that friendship for me is actually quite rare these days. When it does occur, it generally happens with another contemplative - one who first and foremost values their own solitude, spiritual disciplines and deep union with the Divine. Even then, the communication between us is rather infrequent, but fulfilling when it does occur.
For years, I wanted so badly for people to like and approve of me, but now I hardly seem to care. The need for other human beings has largely been replaced by a profound relationship with both God and Goddess, with Wisdom, with Nature, and with my photography. This lessened need for people has, I find, actually increased my love for them. I discover in my interactions with people that I long for them to discover their own sacred identity, and I want to help mirror that core back to them as I am able.
I do of course need the interest of people in my work, for this is how I make a living. But while I at one time needed intensely the personal approval of other people, now it seems largely unnecessary. After all, what is the approval of another human being compared to communion with the Creator, with the endless riches dwelling within, and with the multi-billion year history of the Earth?
Photos: Golden Banner ablaze at Lory State Park, CO; A Pasqueflower survives a hailstorm in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO; A snake at Devil's Tower National Monument, WY. These photos were taken on May 21-26, 2016
For Spiritual Direction or Workshops, please visit:http://www.resourcesforspiritualgrowth.com/
Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.