This has been a long time coming, I haven’t posted in a very long time, the fact of the matter being that I was stunted. After I wrote Making Ammends – Part One I really started to think about what my responsibility is and has been in my relationships. I had grand plans to reach out to a childhood friend from which I had parted ways with nearly 10 years ago. At the moment I had felt entirely justified in my accusations and the subsequent end of our friendship, and many years passed and I remained completely closed to the idea of acknowledging my part.
That was, until I experienced the burden of hurt that I was carrying towards another person being lifted by the honest and heartfelt acknowledgement of their role in what had been a hurtful and painful experience for me. I know that on that day, we were both able to move past so much anger, guilt and heartache and this ultimately allowed us both to move forward instead of being stuck in the past.
It has taken me this long…10 months(since the first part of this post), give or take, to muster up the courage to contact this friend. I felt like a fraud, writing about love, friendship, forgiveness & relationships on this blog, whilst I was spinning my wheels – stuck at a stand still. While in the background I was always thinking about what I needed to do and what I could say to try to resolve the situation, it was quite literally eating away at me. So many times I would plan to sit down and write her an email, and subsequently I would end up putting it off. This went on for months, and strangely enough in the course of that 10 months I received “gentle reminders” frequently to “stay on course”. In those 10 years it was like she had vanished off the face of the earth, but in the last 10 months there were regular random occurrences – running into her daughter at a local yoga studio, my friend frequenting the workplace of my daughter as well as her name coming up through mutual acquaintances ,and so on. I really believe that because she was in my thoughts I began to create these experiences. It wasn’t until shortly before Christmas that I was very ill, confined to my bed and in a feverish state that I dreamt about her, the two of us raising our baby girls together, her wedding day(I was her maid of honor) and all those cherished memories that come with a long-standing friendship. A few days passed and although I had initially awoken in a state of urgency about contacting her the days began to creep by once again, until the evening that changed everything.
I was rushing to a yoga class, I had felt compelled to attend on this day even though it was not part of my regular routine. Class ended and I was exiting the studio and what I saw made my heart leap, it was her! My friend from so long ago(at least I thought it was). My first instinct was to call her name, but the words wouldn’t come…my elation quickly turned to shame and I made a quick detour into the ladies change room to hide until I was sure she was gone. I hated that feeling, that I couldn’t reach out because of my fear of being rejected, among other things. I was a bag a nerves all the way home and finally knew that I couldn’t hold off any longer.I was totally possessed and as soon as I came home I wrote the email immediately. The words flowed and game straight from my heart. I didn’t have to think about what I wrote, it was honest, free and pure.I came to understand what had fueled my “attack” on my friend years ago(some jealously, as well as some pretty self righteous thinking. I cried as a wrote and mourned the years lost, released the judgements I had (mostly about myself), and rid myself of the need to be right, and forgave myself for being “wrong”. I poured my heart out. I did this without any expectations, only hoping it would help my friend rid herself of any sadness or bitterness that she may have still had about the situation.
I think that in life we stand on both sides, we can all relate to what it feels like to have been hurt by someone or some situation, and we can quickly feel victimized, wounded or angry, it’s all part of being human I suppose. I believe that there is always balance, we have all been on both the receiving or the giving end, realizing this puts it all into perspective a little more and opens the doors for love and forgiveness. I am forever grateful to those in my life that have helped me to tear down the walls and experience forgiveness on such a grand scale. I wish that I could put into words how truly freeing it has been for me to be able to let go and rid myself of all the anxiety, fear, shame and anger I carried. I only hope that the next time the opportunity for forgiveness presents itself I will recognise it sooner than later and spare myself all the self-inflicted agony!
I am happy to say that my letter to my friend was well received, proof that leading with your heart will never steer you wrong! Much love…