I saw a friend today I met at least four years ago, maybe more. It might as well be a lifetime ago for both of us. She and I share one of those rare, symbiotic, transformative relationships; one in which we both served as catalysts of change for the other. We didn’t intend for that to happen, as we were just enjoying ourselves socially, yet that element of our relationship emerged after we had known each other for quite some time. As we listened and became familiar with each other’s value systems, trust developed. Her heart was clear through and through.

Thinking back, we might have run the risk of offending the other. Both of us delivered messages we might not have wanted to hear. I know that when she spoke the words I needed, I never once doubted where her heart was. I don’t think she ever doubted mine. Whenever a person genuinely cares for another, they want what is best for them. They care for the person in total and for their welfare above all else. How challenging and rare to find and trust someone like that in middle age!

We became traveling companions on the road of transformational change, meeting on occasion to encourage each other’s progress, comparing notes, and sharing strategies. We couched this underneath the umbrella of meeting for coffee and sometimes, yoga. At the same time, we were each developing and expanding our meditation practices, and learning how to sit with ourselves more deeply, how to listen and respond to our inner turnings. We learned how to love ourselves more fully, together.

The person I met with today was light years beyond the woman I met just a few years ago. Today I witnessed the full blossoming of the flower she always was. She was just buried underneath some things she needed to shed. Same with me. As we recounted our tale, synthesizing our shared path, our eyes lit up as we exclaimed together, “This is FREEDOM!”

Emancipation comes at any age or stage of life. Early or middle or late, freedom from the lower nature can be accomplished when it is abandoned in favor of pursuing a life that is healthiest and best. Despite the work I had accomplished prior, I still had some unfinished business. At the split second the seed of optimal self-love is planted, blossoming comes near. May all who wish for freedom be supplied sunlight, water, fertilizer, and synchronistic opportunities for growth which defy expectations.  And may they find a companion or a few to accompany their journey.