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Mending Bridges...

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.
He's right.
I don't.

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.
He would.
Very much.

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.
kindness.jpg


Comments (8)

jgk:

Been there, for sure.
The thing, as you know, is to feel good. You, yourself. If we feel love it feels so much better than anger, hate etc. So moving on is great. Keep up the good work.

Hi, Jan,
It's a narrow line we walk between being friends or not.
I am glad I took the chance to re-enter our friendship. I know that he feels badly abut what happened and has apologized for it. We'll see how it goes...

kendall:

My philosophy when a friend hurts me is to ask muself whether the intention was to inflict pain.
We often hurt those we love through thoughtless stupidity. That I can easily forgive. If however it was inentionaly done that is not a friend.

sheri:

A really meaningful post,Brenda. It does take a lot more energy to hold a grudge, than it does to move on. Hope that things work out well for you and your friend.

It is nice that you are able to get past the hurt. That is very hard to do. I hope your friendship continues in a positive way.

Hi, Kendall,
Thanks for your wise words!
I agree with you about the intentionality of the act. This was most surely not intentional, but it was a matter of my buddy forgetting something very important that was hugely meaningful to me.

Still, I know that he didn't mean to create a hurtful situation, so I'm working on being ok with it, keeping that in mind.

Sheri,
It really does! It costs a lot to maintain the anger and takes a ton of energy to hold up the shield in protection. I actually feel a huge sense of lightness now!

girasole,
I think it will keep on keeping on, and that's a good thing. We work together and it is much easier for everyone to have this smoothed over and healed.
I'm not a grudge-carrier, so it took a monumental hurt for me to shut him out. Now, I'm working on letting it go and making it like before.
In one of my workshops with John Bradshaw, I learned that the word forgive means to learn to give as before. That's where I am with this right now. Learning how to do just that!

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