Emotional Ghosts: Friendship / Acceptance

Judgmental by nature, we label others. We size them up, dress them down and figure them out. We form opinions based on perception. We’re not biased. On the contrary, we have a checklist of good, bad and scary reserved for just about anyone who crosses our path. Yet, we ourselves hunger for acceptance and long for that one soul who approves of us completely, without exception or reservation – a true friend.

It became one of my favorite shows a couple years ago. Sadly, it concluded production after five all-too-short seasons. I started with the first season on DVD, and picked up a few broadcast episodes when I happened across them. The show mixes sarcastic humor with deadpan. It laces drama with absurdity. It unfolds within the confines of a law firm whose founder seems to have lost any morals he may have at one time harbored, as well as bits and pieces of his ability to reason.

William Shatner, James Spader, and Candice Bergen are big enough stars in their own presence, but the scripts afforded them are clever and tightly woven. The show is Boston Legal. And, while I’m attracted by the humor, the drama, and the absurdity, there’s another small staple to the show that hits home with more impact than waking up to find youself “miles away” in a live version of a Corona commercial. It’s the balcony.

It’s not the location, although overlooking the city of Boston from seven stories up after sunset has to be a spectacular view. It’s not even the fact that it’s the wrap up of the day, although we all love getting to the end of our daily journey and being afforded the brief opportunity of a deep breath. It’s more the fact that it has become a symbol of complete acceptance in the presence of a friend, someone willing to entertain your most outlandish thought without so much as the hint of judgment.

We all need time on that balcony. We all have those thoughts deep within us that can’t be shared with just anyone. We’re not looking for someone to help us sort out those thoughts, resolve the inner issues, or put us back on the right path from which we’ve strayed. We’ve got friends for that. In fact, we probably have an abundance of friends ready to wear that head gear, and offer advice.

What we really long for at times is that person who regardless of the situation, listens intently and responds with a positive celebration of who we are. We need affirmation. We need someone that signs off on the confidential document that says it’s okay for us to feel what we’re feeling, think what we’re thinking, or dream the dream we’re dreaming. Nothing big. Nothing profound. Just mutual approval and acceptance of things as they are, no boundaries, no qualifications.

Light the cigar. Pour the scotch. Celebrate who you are in this moment of time, your strengths, your weaknesses and your uniqueness. It’s okay for you to be you! Let’s meet . . . on the balcony.

*  *  *  *  *

Time to let go of the old

All that cannot feed your soul

And make another choice


Write it down so you can learn

Every thing you want to burn

And take back your own voice


There is dancing round the fire

We’re releasing old desires

The dreams we dream in vain


Flames are swallowing the dark

We are feeding every spark

With things that bring us pain


Glory, Glory… Hallelujah

Come and lay your burden down

– Kate Phillips

Listen to: Glory, Glory @ Kate Philips Music



Filed under Emotional Ghosts

5 responses to “Emotional Ghosts: Friendship / Acceptance

  1. Nice post, Mark. Acceptance is so key, and I’m amazed that sometimes I see people surrounding themselves with those who truly DON’T accept them. I believe that acceptance begins within, with self-acceptance. When we truly celebrate and embrace ourselves unconditionally, we will choose to find that in our lives, friendships and relationships as well.

    • I think we are all surrounded on different levels with those who “accept us” on their terms only. This is fine in the work place or in some social groups, because we work to gain a measure of approval while maintaining our own choice of self-defining the role we are willing to play and under what circumstances we are prepared to play it.

      In friendships these same boarders sometimes define the give and take between two people; until we stumble across something deeper that goes beyond boarders and opens doors that are otherwise kept guarded.

      In those cases, something special and lasting takes root.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kate.

  2. Myra

    Love the message. It’s been my observation that most people do not know who they are, let alone really accept someone else. They are so busy being what they think others think they should be, instead of finding who they really are. If you cannot accept you for who you are, how can anyone else accept you?

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