Last week was kind of rough. During a hike with one of my closest friends, she revealed her frustrations to me in regards to myself, my fiancé, and a mutual friend of ours. While I initially planned to include what these frustrations were, I’ve opted not to go too deep into them because I believe they won’t add anything of value to the primary message of this post. At the end of the day, she views certain situations as one way and I see them as another, so if I include what these specific issues are, it’s only going to be from my perspective and I don’t want to make it seem as if I’m discounting what she’s feeling or going through right now.
However, what I can say is that I walked away that day feeling hurt and angry even though I knew she wasn’t coming from a bad place; she was just telling me how she had been feeling in regards to our friendship, which she had kept to herself for a long time. Still, I just couldn’t stop thinking about what had happened after I left because I was grappling with trying to merge my reality with hers and I was failing miserably at it.
I’m not one to brag, but one of my strengths is being able to empathize with others and try to see things from their point of view, no matter how I feel about the situation. Life is not black and white, it’s a shade of gray, so I have no qualms with finding SOMETHING to take responsibility for whenever my friends and I have a disagreement; after all, it takes “two to tango”. This time though…I don’t know… I just got so upset. I felt that I was the one who was constantly trying to understand her point of view, but anytime I would try and tell her what I thought was the truth of the matter, she would tell me, “No..I don’t think so” or “You don’t see what I see.” I just felt so…dismissed; that nothing I could say or do would change her mind and….that sucks. I think that’s why I kept replaying everything over and over in my head later because I felt that instead of making headway, we had come to a roadblock, something I had never expected from this friendship. We’ve been friends for almost 10 years; that’s like a marriage, and, like a lot of marriages, we’ve hit a rough patch.
After taking some time to meditate, I was finally able to figure out the crux of the issue. I think that both of us believe we’re putting in more effort towards this friendship than the other, when in reality, it’s an equal amount, but it’s not in the way either of us need. In other words, we have different expectations of what a friendship should look like and because we’re not meeting each other’s expectations, we feel under appreciated and unheard.
I know that I could change if I really wanted to, but it wouldn’t be from a genuine place. It’s not because I’m being stubborn or selfish; I just don’t think I’m able to provide everything she might need from me at this time. I am who I am and I’m happy with that person. Will I always be there to support her, love her, listen to her, be a shoulder to cry on, etc? Absolutely. Will I always be able to see her every single week? Probably not. I want to, but it’s just not a guarantee because sometimes things come up or I just need a mental health day to recharge; it’s never personal or out of spite. With that being said, I’m also aware that she probably doesn’t want to change either and I’m not even sure if she’ll ever really understand the place I’m coming from. This leaves us at an impasse, so what do we do now?
The simple answer is, I don’t know. And you know what? That’s ok. It’s ok to not know what the future holds for our various interpersonal relationships. The best we can do or hope for is to move forward with them until one or both of us doesn’t feel like doing that anymore. My plan is to try and work through whatever issues we are having and probably force myself to have some tough conversations with her that we’ve avoided for months, if not years; things that in the past would be brought up in a round-about-sort-of way, but never stayed on for too long. It maybe an uncomfortable process and we may not come out the other side (fingers crossed we do), but it’ll be better for the both of us in the long-run. According to every card I drew from all of my Oracle decks in regards to how to handle this issue, I was continuously advised to communicate my emotions and feelings in a compassionate and loving way as long as I compassionately and lovingly listen to her concerns in return. I think I can handle that.
At this point, you’re probably wondering, “This was all fine and dandy, but how has what you’ve written connect to the title of this post if you’re not going to end or “let go of” the friendship?” Well, although letting go can often insinuate releasing someone or something from your life, it doesn’t necessarily have to. For instance, I’m choosing to let go of expectations that I have for her and for myself, both as individuals and as friends. I’m choosing to let go of who’s right and who’s wrong. I’m choosing to let go of allowing myself to feel anything negative about what’s going on or what could possibly happen to us in the future. I want nothing but the best for us, so whatever that’s supposed to look like, I’m determined to make it happen.
Remember, you always have a choice in a tough situation and it doesn’t necessarily have to require a sacrifice. It may feel kind of “yucky” or uncomfortable at first, but sometimes this can result in something better, stronger and more beautiful. As an old Buddhist proverb once said, “Just like the lotus, we too have the ability to rise from the mud, bloom out of the darkness, and radiate into the world.”
And with that being said, may all of you lotuses out there rise and bloom no matter the mud you’re currently in.
Love and Light,
Gypsy Rose (Jenna)