Full Circle – Some People ARE Full of Surprises (wonderful surprises)


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 GenuineFriendsweeks 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.

TheOnlyWayToHaveAFriend

 

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Truth – It Always Makes Its Curtain Call In The End


ReflectionInMirror05-05-12The Buddhist say that there are three truths – yours, theirs, and the Truth – I believe this whole heartedly.  I’ve always had the faith (albeit sometimes a bit later in the game) that  “Truth will prevail.”  I’ve kept to this because my whole life I’ve been the victim of accusation (false accusation) and “shunning” – I could never really understand this  as a child.  Now does this mean I was always innocent?  Of course not – I was a child… I was human and Humans make mistakes.  I would, however, talk with my mother and, though she would do her best to comfort me, I mean we all face our ‘judgments’; but even she could never really make sense of it herself (how can you rationalize such actions to a child if you can’t make sense of them as an adult?).  Everyone spilling out their ‘arm-chair’ indictments.  Then again, “He who is without sin…”

So much has happened since my last entry – many would say that I have been “healing” – Yet, I think I’ve fallen inward; too afraid of diving into the world for fear of rejection.  The fear of people getting to know me, our liking each other, becoming friend and then their rejection.  The rejections that I’ve faced these past couple of years have been harsh, to say the least.  At one point I thought I found love, was told he would never leave me, that he loved me – hell he even cried at the ‘idea’ of my leaving or growing ill (a story for another time); only to flat-out leave me, with no explanation just poof!  Gone.

Another was a childhood friend who I thought was my best friend; I thought of her like a sister.  We knew EVERYTHING about each other.  Only, there was something off.  She never came to my wedding, she and her family would be in the area and something would always come up that would divert their plans and allow them to avoid our home.  This was no coincidence.  I came to find out that she was holding onto a grudge.  A grudge over something I supposedly said to her in High School – High School!!!   We are now in our Fifties…  I couldn’t believe it.

I lost a couple of other friends this last year and, to be honest, I don’t really understand.  I’m sure that with the one, it was something I said or did.  But one friend sent me an email accusing me of something I did – to which I denied; because I would never say such a thing!  But what hurt, what truly hurt, was with all of these situation is none of these people took the time to fight for our relationship and talk with me.  It is no secret that I was going through a great deal of grief; am I using this as an excuse?  No… in fact, if I could I would personally apologize to each and every person I hurt during this – or any time and ask them for forgiveness.  In fact, I did so with my ex-boyfriend and, to his elation I’m sure, he certainly put me in my place – there is nothing more humbling.  However, I’ve made other mistakes with other friends and most have ‘turned the other cheek’ – forgiven me – giving it not a second thought.

No, I’m afraid I have fallen ‘inward’ – afraid to go out into the world.  I’ve had an interest in the ‘dating scene’ and have been too afraid to go forward.  Fearing “what if they get to know the real me and leave, grow to hate me?”  Even thoughts of “I’m not good enough, I’m better off alone”, often go through my head.  I battle these off, but I’ve had a good deal of time to think (perhaps too much).  What if that monster that was dating my ex is the ‘real’ me?

One of the things I’ve come to realize is that in time, Truth comes out.  I had a situation recently where I thought I’d lost all credibility due to this one friend and I was made aware of the fact that her true personality is coming to the surface; and it’s not a pretty face.  I don’t mean seem as if I’m gloating, I’m not.  I’m writing this as a “wake up call” that Truth always has a way of coming forward.  And as a reminder to me to keep that faith.  There are plenty of Judges our there, but stay true to myself and to also stand by those who have stood by me.

Many people wonder why I write this; I write so that I can answer my own questions, I write so that I can look inward and heal.  We can’t begin to heal until we can see our own involvement in our life’s mistakes and in our relationships.  None of us are perfect in what we do.  Would I take back all the crazy stuff I said and did to both my friend and my ex-boyfriend?  Certainly!  The problem is, we don’t always have that second chance or third chance; another reason being,  sometimes a grudge is much harder to break through than the toughest of rock walls.

My point is this; whether you are the ‘Trespasser’ or the ‘trespassed’ you both have a choice in how you deal with that wrong and it is called “Forgiveness”.  Forgiveness of the Trespasser and Forgiveness of Self for Trespassing.  I’m probably never going to be able to make things right with these people for many reasons; the most important being that they aren’t in a place of hearing what I have to say.  But, I can forgive myself for my part in what was done, take responsibility for what I’ve done and to remind myself of the kindness that resides in my heart; AND, to not let my heart continue to darken as a result of these unfortunate circumstances.  Forgiveness is the only way to lighten the heart and soul for all concerned.  It truly is a shellfish act as it allows you to let go.  Let go of the anger, the hurt, the blame.  Someone said that anger, rage, blame (all of those feelings) are like holding a burning coal only to fling it at your enemy.  There is only one problem with that, the only one getting burned is you.

 

*Resentment and bitterness
is the poison drank
in hopes the other will perish.

Forgiveness is a moment of
peaceful release
not forgetting
or unknowing
but a shifting
in mind
and emotions
a switch on
a switch off
a deep sigh of acceptance
A moving on.

But what does it really mean
and how to get there
from here?

Resentment
Bitterness
Hurtfulness
Forgiveness
How to get from here
to there?

These questions plague
my day
Dance through my night.

In a moment of light
I wonder
if self forgiveness
makes it all right
I realize then
I have no magic sentence
to make it all okay.

This unfathomable
human moment
perhaps there are no words to say.

But
Being loving
is that the answer?
Kindness
is that the cure?
Self-acceptance
comes in waves
peace in moments found.
Perhaps
in these emotions
forgiveness comes around.

When I get
there from here
I will tell you
what I found.

Meanwhile
Lightning and thunder
color the horizon
and flash towards the ground…

Destination – “Healed”, period. (is there such a place?)


We all handle the various challenges we face differently.  For the most part, I believe that each of us are heroes, each setting out to Trainandstationconquer whatever challenge life has dealt us.  It’s no secret that these last few months [scratch that… years] have been sprinkled with loss.  Be it the loss of health (my mother’s dementia and sister’s cancer), the loss of a loved one, loss of life style (my marriage, and job, the fire).  There has been much that has been endured.  Changes in our own lives, be it welcomed or not, can be quite disruptive; but loss is one of those major hurdles to get over.  And to do it, you must have will and determination and strength.

To write simply about ‘change’ doesn’t seem to fit this time, nor does it seem appropriate to simply write about loss… I’ve been experiencing something very strange and much delayed.  I can’t quite put my finger on it (that’s the hard part), it’s not depression – which is a good thing; but  one moment I’m  melancholy – crying, sleepy –  then all is fine.  I’ve simply lost my gumption…  Still, what do I have to ‘complain’ about?

But complain I did and ‘self-pity’ became my latest garment I threw on over my robe.  I was getting into some bad habits – staying up until the wee hours of the morning, sleeping late, drinking coffee all day (hence more late nights) – it is high time I stop this nonsense before I end up the proverbial ‘train-wreck.’  I see a ‘switch’ in the rail line ahead and must quickly adjust the path of this journey.  TrackchangingOften times we follow our paths with our heads hanging so low that we are completely clueless to the rattlesnake pit we are about to fall into.  Our minds swirling with our own inner voices that we don’t hear the warnings.

They say when you feel down, count your blessings not your heartaches.  Stay focused on the positive in your life and stay out of the ‘comparison game.’  Good advice, however I couldn’t help but find myself in that very game just the other day.  Talking with my friend, someone of whom I’d not spoken with in almost thirty years – no particular reason we weren’t speaking, it was simply “LIFE” – but as we were talking and he was telling me about what has happened with him over these last three decades, I never dreamt that life could be so cruel.  The loss of two children topped the list.  Yet, as we were talking, he had such a wonderful way of speaking about it.  There was no feelings of self-pity, though I’m sure his heart breaks with each memory; he was resolved and at peace.

After our long talks I had to ask myself; what in tarnation do I have to complain about?  Life is better than I can remember, I’m prospering all over the place; still, I just don’t understand this, this… Melancholy!  So, the question remains; is there such a place as – Destination Healed?  If so, how many self-help posts/books must we read before we reach it and can finally de-board the Chattanooga Cucachu-chu?

RailtracksSo, how does one release themselves from this ‘pre-train wreck?’  Get going and get going.  And, yes – count your blessings.  Speaking with my friend, it reiterated that we truly are dealt cards in this game called “Life”; and our best shot is to play our games as best we can.  One card and one game at a time, without struggling to see what card lies in wait or, worse yet, wondering about those we played.

I can remember when I was in college, my roommate’s mother once told me “Ann, if you gathered everyone and told them ‘place all the misfortune that life has dealt you into the brown paper bag before you and throw it into the center of the room and it will be released from you forever.’  So they all do and are elated.  Then you say to them, ‘now, you are to pick up a bag before you leave as this will now replace the last.’  You will be amazed at how many will struggle and fight to find the very bag they just tossed.”

So very true.  There is the old saying, “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle.”  I’ve had trouble with this, though I used to live by it.  And I think it boils back to this; to worry about what could happen is wasted energy as there is no control over the ‘unknown.’  And to keep revisiting past events is literally stripping you of, not just today, but your journey of where you could be.  As each regret adjusts that journey.

Being a believer in the power of focused energy, to revisit the past and to try to make sense out of the senseless will only bring on more of the ‘senseless’ as this is the point of focus.  Where, if we change our focus to the moments of our life… moment by moment we show up and find joy.  ‘Joy’ being the targeted emotion.

I had the pleasure of helping a dear friend of mine this last week.  She has a music program that she developed and volunteers for, for the local children in our district.  I can’t tell you the joy of being with these little children as they rehearsed and got ready for their performances.  If you need to get over the doldrums, helping/volunteering is one of the best ways to do it.

There is something so serene about placing your heart in the moment and speaking with each person you meet.  By just placing a smile on my face and showing up to face these children needing my help, well, to be clear, it was stage make-up… not a big deal; but, it was huge to them.  They smiled, and therefore I smiled.  What a treat!  And what joy!

Destination – Healed; not sure there is such a place, or that there should be as we are healing each and every day.  And with each day – our target should be, not ‘healed’ necessarily, but JOY!

Jumpingforjoy

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
Maya Angelou

“If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies; succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; do good anyway…
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.”
Mother Teresa