Learning from a “break” while still keeping your heart intact (part 2 of 2)

Written by on September 21, 2013 in Learning to Breathe - 2 Comments

My ex-husband used to always say that I will accept from friends what I would never allow a boyfriend to get away with. As witnessed by my post last month, this may indeed be true (at least for a while). At some point, however, one must realize that certain friendships are better off cutting out. The people in our lives should be ones that fill us with positive energy, not ones who take energy away from us.

This friend in particular on numerous occasions would shout at me and insult me in ways that I would never accept from any man in my life. But I somehow would look beyond her actions and her words and see a person who had a difficult childhood and never managed to learn some common things that most people learn through good parenting. I saw a woman who had great hopes for life and whom life kept disappointing over and over again. My heart hurt for her pain. And so I would cut her slack over and over and over again. And as my ex-husband would say, I let her get away with treating me in a way that I would never in a million years allow a man to do. Perhaps because, with a friend, I wasn’t so guarded of my territory or my heart. Hence, with a friend, I was able to see beyond actions or words and to see the humanity of the person in front of me.

I have now spent most of a day analysing every way in which I’d been wrong in our equation of two. So that, at the least, I learn what not to do or say again in the future. Maybe the loss of this friend was indeed inevitable; but, at the very least, it is an opportunity to learn for the next time. Now that I’ve seen a bit of the world and have met many, many people in my time here, I think that this world is divided into two kinds of people: those who always consider their part in every conflict and think about how to better themselves from it, and those who always look at who or what to blame for whatever bad befalls them. Unfortunately, there are many more people that fall into the latter category than into the former – which would help explain why there is still so much conflict, murder, war, and unhappiness in this world.

My friend, for example, has lost at least five (if not more) friends and/or lovers just in the time that I’ve known her. The minute she gets too close to someone, they seem to soon after disappear from her life leaving her behind in tears. Yet I have never once heard her question her own role in that loss (or that break). Instead she always blames the other person: “he is just a player;” or “she’s really crazy;” or “they were never really good friends;” or even “I don’t really know what happened”. At one point, I even introduced her into a spiritual group I belonged to and that I thought could be really helpful. But rather than examining herself with her new learning, she instead used the knowledge as extra leverage to analyse the flaws of those around her. I remember her fighting with another mutual friend accusing her of shallowness using some new spiritual terms she’d learned. I also recall when she’d used other new knowledge to try to question (and break) another one of my close friendships. And in this case of our friendship ending too, I’m sure that my former friend threw the blame for the break in friendship onto me, or even maybe also onto the mutual friend who’d confided in me about all of the horrible things that this ex-friend had said about me. Certainly, it is unlikely that this person actually looks within herself and analyses the pattern that has transpired in her life maybe for always, but at the very least for the almost one year that I’ve known her. Her life isn’t a happy one, but it could be made so much happier and easier if she could find a way not to constantly lose the people that dwell into it for however short or long that she allows them to.

Hence, it would be easy for me, in this situation at least, to just put all of the blame of this conflict on this former friend. Certainly, many other people (including most mutual friends of ours) upon hearing of the situation suddenly felt comfortable enough to tell me what they’d really thought of her this whole time. Lines like “she’s not a nice person;” “she has bad energy and you don’t need someone like that in your life;” “she’s just troubled and she’s trouble;” “I would never have been friends with her if it wasn’t for you;” and even the not so nice quote “good riddance to bad rubbish”. But even despite all these well-meaning friends and loved ones, I have always lived my life by learning from this kind of hurtful events. So in this case too, while I could throw the blame individually completely on her, and say that the conflict was inevitable, that she is a person with too many issues to ever stay close with anyone for long, or to just call her “crazy” as so many have and to attribute the conflict to a mean fiction that she created inside her own head; I instead have taken the time to see my own role in the events and to understand what I could have said or done differently to maybe have led to a different result. After all, it’s only in analysing my own role that I can perhaps change and better myself.

I can’t change my former friend or to make her think about how to live her life differently. But by changing myself and the way that I react to what happened, maybe I can somehow – even if in a very small way – change the energy of the world. Maybe by having one less continuing conflict, the energy of the world can shift – if even just a centimetre – towards the side of peace and contentment, and eventual happiness, and away from the side of rage, conflict, and war. Or maybe that’s just a fiction I like to imagine for myself. But isn’t that a much better fiction to imagine than one that leads to hate and anger instead?

 

Stay tuned for the next entry where I explain why I’ve decided I deserve more this year than continuing to cycle in the rain.

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2 Comments on "Learning from a “break” while still keeping your heart intact (part 2 of 2)"

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