As I sit here on this fine Fall day, I’m elated with the recent event of reuniting with an old dear friend. We had a falling out of sorts some time ago (it was stupid really and I lost my temper… ). These past few weeks I’ve reached out to old lost friends; call it age, but I’m finding that life is too short to hold onto grudges or past hurts. And, I’ve been told by these old friends, in no uncertain terms to F… Off, We don’t want you here. Well, I guess I can’t blame them. Then again, it left me feeling a bit sorry for these individuals – I sort of pitied them. I mean, if I was receiving an email or call from an old friend (especially someone I’d known since childhood or for over three decades, let’s say) with heartfelt apology, asking if we can get past this… I would call them and talk. Forgive and forget, let bygones be bygones (that is unless they sexually assaulted me or killed my mother…); however this was not how these individuals decided to treat the situation. They chose to clutch their pain/grudge and proudly wear it like an armor, thereby warding off anyone (mostly me); like garlic to a vampire.
Being the tenacious person that I am, I recently reached to this friend that I heard from today… Giving her my apologies and asking if there was anyway we could move forward – realizing that it had been three years – I fully expected the same reaction as with the other lost friends. I was working on my computer and sipping my coffee when my cell rang (I was actually expecting a male friend who said he would be calling sometime this weekend… though I thought it was a bit early as he was to be taking his student for an ocean swim), so I answered this unknown number and to my surprise it was her. “Thank you for reaching out”, she said. “Well, thank you for calling; usually I just get a ‘f..k off’ and get defriended”, I replied and the tears started to flow. We talked for close to two hours as if no time passed.
I’ve spent a great deal of time dealing with those voices in my head that told me, “you’re a bad person, Ann. You don’t deserve to have friends like them.” “You expect them to forgive you? You aren’t worthy.” But some strange things came out this week as I’ve said ‘good-bye’ so some toxic people who really, not only recently decided I was not ‘good enough’ for whatever reason, NEVER felt the love I felt for them for three decades or more! I felt cleansed, and felt those ‘voices’ flushed away. It was as if, suddenly, I could see my worth. Because, I DO forgive, I do keep my word and don’t spread gossip – hurtful, horrid gossip. I used to think to never do that which you don’t want done to you (or…on the positive slant – treat others as you would like to be treated). It doesn’t always work that way as people are going to talk no matter what… But this I do know and I’ve said this before – TRUTH always wins out. People will show you who they are. And these individuals have shown me who they really were, I just didn’t have enough faith in myself to trust it. I knew they didn’t love me… I could feel it in the way they treat me and the way they treated those ‘friends’ around them. I knew they were ashamed of me and that I didn’t ‘make the cut’ with their other friends who had more money and owned cabins, boats, vacation homes… but again, I couldn’t allow myself to see the shallowness in them.
Those people are my past… They don’t define me and no longer have any hold on me. From now on I only care for and look forward to all that are in my life now. Those individuals that lift me up, make me laugh and truly care for ME as I do them. Friends and acquaintances will always come and go – this is true, but it is a certain blessed person that will realize that life is too short; people get older (we all do) and sometimes you just need to let bygones be bygones and realize that there was love and deep friendship there. To my friend today – if you read this (you know who you are) I’m so very grateful for you and Love you with all my heart… This is my best Birthday present.