I needed a favor. I talked about it to close friends I like to call “soul” mates who are fully aware of my circumstances and the chaos I have been going through starting in the middle of 2020.
One of them didn’t think twice and proceeded with executing my request the second I asked for it. This is called trust. She knows deep inside that if I had even 1% of doubt that it could impact her negatively, I would have never asked in the first place.
She has been listening carefully. She has been paying attention to my consistency. She has been seeing my deposits for what they truly are and honoring them. And I have been doing the same. Reciprocity is key. Unfortunately, she found a constraint that blocked the process and felt sad because she couldn’t help. Up to this point, I was given the message I was cared for, that my wellbeing was a high priority. I felt grateful!
Interestingly, the best part was yet to come. My exquisite friend’s husband was away from home for about a month and a half. He came back last weekend when I happened to tell her about my need. I knew about it when she came back to check whether a solution they discussed could be an option. I was out of words. The attention of taking the time to brainstorm it with her husband whom she didn’t see for that long had an indescribable effect on my heart…I met a treasured friend in the middle of the week and collapsed in tears in a public space while telling him the story.
That’s part of what I find incredible about psychology: the narratives and meaning we allocate to some events create feelings that will always resurface whenever we recall the event. This brings us to a vital detail: we need to be very mindful of the quality of our narratives and interpretations. Because, when we don’t and that disappointment knocks on the door, we may fail ourselves and “react”.
Here is an extract from this piece that was published some time ago:
Appealingly, even some of the most awakened spirits may fall short and be out of their integrity at some point. Bear in mind that we all make mistakes. Shortcomings are human, particularly if we have too much on our plate. In such circumstances, the most important detail is to admit it and apologize sincerely. If the relationship is healthy enough, the incident will naturally become part of the past.
It happened to me during this week with one of my friends I adore the most. She rejected my request. It wouldn’t have been a problem at all if I felt some compassion. All that I felt was a coldness that triggered sorrow and frustration. Instead of confronting her with my feelings, I talked about the episode to other friends. I was out of my integrity. It didn’t feel right. I sent her an email to admit my wrong and sincerely apologize. She kindly accepted my apologies. Nonetheless, she said she was feeling we were out of synch for a while and that she was expecting I would talk about her to others. She explained that I previously shared with her a problem with a friend who happened to block me from all communication media the first time that I dared open up about my hurt feelings.
Am I the only one to believe that one of the basics of healthy relationships is the possibility to go through uncomfortable discussions, bear with the possibly triggered shame or guilt — depending on the quality of our program — and handle it in an emotionally mature way anyway? I didn’t feel the need to argue or prove anything to my friend who based her judgment of my “gossiping” tendency on my need to be seen and validated for being treated so poorly — even if we assume that I made a mistake. I am a believer that every individual had the right to decency and to leave the table with all their dignity in the middle of conflicts, including the most horrible abusers.
Standing up for ourselves is not equivalent to disrespect and emotional immaturity. My friend also reported that what I perceived as being cold was her way to set “boundaries”. Those with whom I had the privilege to discuss the topic of healthy boundaries can confirm how much I encourage them and repeat myself about their critical attribute. Nonetheless, the question is, “if boundaries make people feel not cared for and hurt, are they healthy?” It seems to me that the feeling speaks for itself. Another friend declined my request but the manner was so gentle and loving that the only thing I wanted to do at the moment was to give her a warm bear hug!
To come back to the story, after accepting my apologies and making a point, my friend ended up notifying me that she was cutting the ties so that I wouldn’t have to speak about her anymore… At the same time, she said that she loved my soul. I felt devastated, thanked her for accepting my apologies as well as for all the magical moments we’d shared. I also confirmed that the affection was reciprocated, that I’d always deeply cared about her, and that it would continue to be a reality for the rest of my existence on our beautiful blue planet we call earth. But here is the point: I made a mistake. She had no way to know about it. I took ownership and was accountable. I apologized sincerely risking being rejected — which turned to be the result. It was the highest level of vulnerability. It was a brave act of faith. It was integrity in practice! Why was I devastated? Was the unhealthy residual part of my ego hurt? Not this time. She pleaded innocent and convinced me, to be frank.
She seemed pissed off while admitting how unfair it was to progressively lose her power over my behavior, during the last two years, in the favor of my healthy newborn ego who takes the lead in no time whenever she tries any action and all the credit with it! Her rationalization made perfect sense: if she was involved at all, I wouldn’t have been capable of exposing myself emotionally and apologizing in the first place. It was on my healthy ego. Guilty as charged!
More to the point, my inner child was bleeding. She couldn’t understand how her friend couldn’t regard with high respect her sincere apologies. She couldn’t accept the reality of how fragile the relationship was. She couldn’t