Free to be stupid?
Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as saying, "It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them." He also said, "To be yourself in a world constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." Friendship is one of the greatest blessings anyone can extend into our lives, is it not? When another comes alongside and lends not only their "best" to your life, but is free enough to add some of the stuff that makes you laugh that deep belly sort of laugh, and just puts a smile on your face, that is a great friendship! I am so grateful when I can just hang out with my bestie and be "myself" - no pretense, no real need for any kind of hiding - just being exactly who and what I am. It is probably one of the greatest compliments one can pay another when they just let the other be exactly who they are!
Those who live right are good guides to those who follow, but wrongdoers will steer their friends down the wrong path. (Proverbs 12:26 VOICE)
I count on my best friend to help guide me down paths worth me following and I think she counts on that from me. It is a kind of "give and take" - kind of like "bumpers" on a bowling alley. We each head down a specific course in life, but then we find the other one guiding us gently back on course when we are steering our course in the direction which will land us in the "gutter" of life! We couldn't do this for each other if we weren't free to be exactly who we are with each other - we need to be genuine in order to really be of aid to one another. There is just something about being the "real deal" that liberates you and allows you to get at the nitty-gritty of life.
Emerson hit the nail on the head when he said it is a tremendous blessing to be able to be "stupid" with your friend. I don't think he was saying we can have or take so much liberty that we do the very things which are unwholesome or unhealthy for our lives, but we can be free to try something, stumble, and then come to the realization we were a little short-sighted, naive, or kind of senseless in our pursuit! This is the meaning of "stupid" I think he was aiming at - the freedom to be a little "rash", but not judgmental of one another whenever we are.
I can honestly say my BFF has kept me from making some rash decisions, saying things as they first came to mind, or making some pretty irrational judgments because I was caught up in the moment. It is what we all can do for each other - act as that "balance" - allowing one another to be exactly who we are, and then adding the necessary restraint to keep us each from heading down the "gutter" of life! As Emerson implied, this really only works when the masks are off! We cannot do it when we are unwilling to be who we really are. I often speak about transparency - being real with one another and with God. It is often pretty obvious when we are not! We hide behind some pretense, not because we aren't valuable as we "really are", but because we often haven't had anyone in our lives who shows us it is okay to be exactly who we are and will still love us when we take off the masks!
My prayer for each of you - that you find your "bestie" in life who will allow you to be you, provide that "balance" to you life that helps to keep you out of the "gutter", and with whom you can share those deep belly laughs as you live life out in real freedom with each other! Just livin!