I hopped in bed with my self, a bottle of water, satc (sex and the city) and the heap of clothes that lie next to me, in a huff. The plan for the evening was movie night with the girls, however, I felt that T and I were not in the friendly position to be anywhere together. Her behavior over the past few days had profoundly annoyed me, so I sourly declined the invitation to movie night. Secretly wanting to go anyway, I lay in the silence allowing my thoughts to flow; soon realizing that I could not tell if she were the reason I lie here in frustration or if the reason were myself.
I’ve been spending time working in myself to better my relationships with people, my communication skills, my compassion and empathy, and its crazy how things in life seem to work against you when you’re trying to live right and correct your ways. Everyone says to “just live positively” and “just smile” and blah blah blah, but do people not ever get on your nerves? Do they not ever do things that disrespect you or conduct themselves in ways that you don’t agree with? Well of course they do! And without properly addressing feelings and issues, its like toe dancing on weak ice. So, when trying to live positively, refraining from hermit-dom, and staying away from all things that piss you off, how do we get along?
Don’t be fooled, they’re just waiting on you to fall in.
T and I have been friends for years, but right now I was angry with her about things she had no idea she’d done. These things were natural to her being, but they upset me to a staggering point. Well, me being the person that I am, I decided to keep my distance for a while and at the “appropriate” time, I would reconcile; mostly within myself, being that I was angry at her, unbeknownst to her. To combat the negativity, I reflect on my decision to be more like Christ and my want to strengthen my connection with God. I thought of the The Lords Prayer in the 6th chapter of Matthew verse 14, where Jesus tells us that if we forgive those who have trespassed against us, our Heavenly Father will forgive us for our trespasses. I meditated on this and thought about my feelings towards my friend and how lately I’ve been irritable, touchy, angered and annoyed by simple things that many do around me. As I prepared myself for bed when I returned from movie night – yes, I went – I thought of my friend. T and I are great friends and to forgive her but also apologize to her is the only choice that I have. I’ll tell you why and how.
Compassion, Empathy and a Just Choice
For the past couple of days I have expressed my frustrations of this situation to a few of my personal friends and they have shared their opinions on it, biased to me of course; however, as I vocalized and reflect on my innerself, I noted that I always realized three things:
- God did not put her on this earth for me to like her. She was not put here to earn my approval. She was not put here to adjust herself to please me and my ideals. She is who she is and I am in no place to judge or put down.
- Our friendship has proven way greater an asset to me than burden. We get along well, share a certain kind of humor that others sometimes just don’t understand, and we support one another through any situation; keeping it real in fake times.
- I wasn’t being the friend to her that I would want her to be to me. Treat people the way you want to be treated, especially your friends.
I use the words compassion and empathy because thats what it took to help me gain understanding of myself and my friend.
I didn’t feel sorry for her, I felt bad for how my retaliation made her feel. I saw this look on her face, that said she didn’t know she was in the company of loving friends. I thought about how I would feel if it was me in her shoes; knowing there was a problem but not knowing what the hell it was or why. And not having anyone tell you what was really going on. We sat through that movie night without sharing a friendly word or outrageous laugh between the two of us – unlike us at all. I thought about what upset me. Why she did those things, what she could have meant by them, why she would have reacted to me the way she did. When I put myself in her shoes, I was able to see that maybe she saw no harm in what she was doing. Maybe she did it unintentionally. Maybe I provoked her. Maybe I took it personally, the wrong way or maybe I need to take responsibility for my icy ass attitude.
I thought about this for 3 days non-stop and I constantly came back to the 3 previously stated notes; so I finally thought about how to bring it to an end. I considered what Dr. Phil said about forgiveness being a conscious choice every day, and realized that didn’t work for me – its too much work – but having compassion and empathy and looking into myself for someone whom I call my friend was the least I could do, to truly forgive her and me and make this right. I had allowed my angst, frustration, and other nameless feelings about her actions, to fester. Instead of thinking my way through it, I was saying, “Whatever, I forgive her”, but anytime she would do something else, I would bring those “forgiven” things up, making it not genuinely forgiven and definitely not forgotten. However, I want God to forgive me and I want bygones to be bygones. These situations have happened, and they will never change, it is in the past. So as the governor of my future, I can choose to incompletely remove myself, by no longer addressing the issue, but not quite letting the issue go, resulting in always having a dislike for her or I can address the issue and let it stay where it is on the board, so that I can move up, pass go and collect $200, with or without my friend. To make a conscious choice, I choose the latter. God and Dr. Phil would be proud.
And THAT is how you get along
You have compassion, empathize and make a just choice. The other night, I had a conversation with a guy whom we may call “Deep”. We were conversing about human equality, and I told him that, in my eyes, we’re all made of the same material: skin, bones, organs, brain; he agreed but added that our largest differences stem from the brain - our personalities, minds and souls. Whether that statement be right or wrong, in essence it highlights the uniqueness of the human race. We are generally the same physically, but we are also different through the unseen. So through our differences, we must get along when we learn acceptance and respect. Accept that we are all different but also the same, accept that we disagree as well as agree, and accept our personal natural selves. Accept that others nor we will always understand and accept that we will not always have things our way. Accept that we are one among many, that there are many among us, and respect all that we accept. That’s when you truly understand how to get along. If each person learned to accept and respect, the world could become a better place.
In my case, T and I are still great friends because those possibilities allowed me to see that I did much of my own bidding. So, I put my guns down and went armed with my white flag and a true apology. I called her up, apologized and gave it to her straight. We left those issues where they were, we moved up, passed go and we both collected $200. This has made us stronger and closer. We both now live positively, and smile, and blah blah blah. The very things I was upset about, I could actually take a lesson in. You might ask why I apologized. Well, she didn’t know she offended me, I was harboring negative feelings, because I was wrong, I admitted it and you apologize when you’re wrong.
In some instances it may not work that way. You may leave your issues on the board but continue on alone, and that’s okay! But at the end of the day, I think its all about leaving the issues, because no matter what they’re going to weigh you down. And if it comes to this kind of situation between two potentially warring countries, call up the UN and direct them to this post here.
“I think the things that seem to work against us, are really working for us; strengthening the parts of us that are overlooked, by using our deepest selves as motivational weight. - S’Maria Gray”
In the good words of whoever, with my own rendition : Stop Hatin and Start Appreciatin !
I hope you can now leave your issues, so you can leave a comment! May peace be with you!
New post on Sunday !
<3 you, Samm