One of my very good friends has done something that was extremely hurtful to me and I've been unable to move past it. I have a rule of thumb that I live by...if someone does something nasty to me once, that will be the last time they get the opportunity to do it.
Hurt me once, shame on you.
Hurt me twice, shame on me.
My friend called me yesterday about something work-related, and after the topic of work was exhausted, we slid into a easy conversation about life in general and our lives in particular. He said hesitatingly that we never see each other any more, and I heard him say softly, in a small and fragile voice, "You never call me anymore."
There was a silence for a few ragged heartbeats...then I agreed with him.
I told him that I had been thinking about that very thing and I was wondering if he'd like to have lunch with me today.
I started to tell him about some of the cool things that are happening in my life and he asked me to save them for our lunch conversation.
We met for lunch and our conversation felt as easy as sliding on an old pair of slippers, comfortable and flowing along effortlessly. Before I knew it, it was time to leave.
After we said goodbye and hugged each other, I drove home, thinking about the hurts and wounds that we suffer and how we keep peeling the scab off the pain, far longer than is necessary. Holding on to our past hurts is a kind of revenge. We think that if we keep rolling that hurt around in our mind, taking it out and polishing it once in awhile to make sure it still shines with our pain, somehow we gain revenge over the person who wronged us. The problem with revenge is that it is like drinking poison and thinking it will hurt the other person. In the long run, it is our own guts that become ravaged from the harsh acid of payback.
It's been over a year since my friend caused me such deep pain that I thought I'd never find myself moving past it. Yet, in one simple phone call, I moved through the gate of forgiveness and into the brilliant light of starting over.
Am I over it totally?
No, for sure I'm not.
I'll be cautious with him for awhile, until I feel confident that he understands that what he did was hurtful, that I see him being more caring and kind.
But, I'm in a far better-feeling place than I have been when I was stirring around in a huge pot of look-what-he-did-to-me soup. Something shifted inside of me with that one phone call and I feel lighter and sweeter because of it.
"How you treat me is your karma, how I react to it is mine." ~ James Van Praagh
My lesson for the day...
"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
~ Aesop, in The Lion and the Mouse
Aesop was a Greek slave & a fable author, and lived from 620 BC - 560 BC.