Recently, something hurt me so badly I lost sleep over several nights. Technically, it had nothing to do with me…..I was merely an onlooker. However, one of the perpetrators was someone who had been dear to me for many years, someone to whom I am grateful for so many things. But on this occasion, her behaviour was so…..well, wrong, so unnecessarily unkind…..it floored me. I could not reconcile the person I thought I knew with the person who was responsible for such blinkered, destructive behaviour. And it made me angry with her, and her co – conspirator, to the point I wanted to exact revenge. And now you know why I found it hard to sleep. That kind of energy is a killer. How can we sleep with such pain and rage in our heart and mind? I knew it was wrong. Regardless of the ‘crime’, this kind of mindset can never lead anywhere good.
But as the dust settled, I realised that I was grieving. It was as if the person I knew and loved had died. And I felt abandoned by her…..rejected. She had chosen to become involved with, and led by, someone whose intentions were entirely self – serving, who was lying, manipulating and continuously covering her tracks. Good, honest people who genuinely had my friend’s best interests at heart were treated with contempt and rudeness. I could hear the coffin nails being hammered in, one by one. And I could not reach her. Why? Because she was receiving something she desperately wanted, from the wrong source (in my opinion), and she was not about to cut off the supply, for anyone or anything. The pain of my perceived rejection led me to obsess over it, again and again. I went from wanting to save her before she fell (and fall she probably will, unless certain activities change), to wanting her to wake up and smell the coffee, to wanting to see her pay the price…..and then back again. I considered giving it one last go, and even practiced what I would say, carefully wording it so that she would not feel that she was being attacked. But I realised that she is an adult, free to make her own choices, and that she would not be open to hearing what I had to offer, anyway. I concluded that if she wanted my input, she would ask for it. I doubt we will ever be friends again, but who knows?
The point is, my friend is oblivious to my soul-searching, and the emotional roller coaster ride I have been on. It is my obsession, not hers. My feelings of intense rejection (“I am listening to HER now, SHE is giving me what I want emotionally, and it is her and I against you and you and you”) caused me to cause myself pain. I remembered a thousand and one good times, favours and laughter……..and the memories kept me hanging on. It would have been easier not to have them, but thank God I did. And thank God I will always have them, even though they now need to be put in a box labelled “Those were the times that were”. If I keep re – living them, I will hold on in the here and now, trapped. Everything has its day, and the present is all we can work with…..the present is where current reality always lies. I break the emotional craziness by accepting that that was then, and this is now. And releasing her, and me, to live within our own present.
Tony Robbins said that if we are going to blame another for their wrong doings, we must also blame them for everything they did that benefitted us. He spoke from experience, as he always does. I loved hearing that. It might be that the person we are blaming also did good stuff, and loved us in their own way. It might be that, because of our experience with them, we became who we are today. Their behaviour may have pushed us to grow in ways we would not have done, if they had not been a part of our life. I remembered how trapped we become when we get into the cycle of blame…….we literally cannot move on until we release the urge to blame. And so I suppose that IS the way we break the cycle…….by drawing a line between what was, and what is, in the here and now. What ‘was’ is closed and sealed. What ‘is’ is alive and kicking. What ‘will be’ is the child that will be born of what is.