“No man is an island.”
~ John Donne
Today I feel disappointed in a friend. I also feel a considerable amount of pain as this person has been a friend for a very long time. I have had to dig deeply to attempt to unravel the lesson that this experience holds for me. I wholeheartedly agree that no one can stand alone; no one is an island. Yet how do you balance trusting others while simultaneously protecting yourself from harm?
Remember that everything that you experience holds an opportunity for you to grow. What could possibly be the lesson in having an old friend repeatedly fail to honor their word; a friend always admired for their honesty and integrity? My initial lesson appeared to be that it is truly best to be an island! That can’t be right!
In my soul searching regarding this incident, a slew of questions and old ego chatterings were brought up for contemplation. At what point does a stated intention that is not honored become a lie? The old aphorism about the ‘road to hell being paved with good intentions’ certainly has come to mind several times over the past few months! A lot of self-blame and self-criticism made their appearance, “You should not have left yourself open.” “When will you ever learn?” “Idiot. Sucker. You deserve the problems this has given you.” and “Why me?” amongst other self-defeating brain chatter. Can disappointment exist without expectation?
What needs of mine were left in the lurch by this inconsiderate ‘friend’ anyway? Well, certainly honesty! Faith, trust, communication, respect, security, and choice are other needs that have also gone unmet. What’s the lesson?! Where did I go “wrong”?
My insights regarding this dilemma include:
- Everyone should be at the top of their own priority list! This is not ‘selfish’. You cannot offer others a drink if your own cup is dry! Think oxygen masks on the plane… always put yours on first because you surely can’t help anyone else when you are unconscious on the floor. I put this friend’s needs before my own and now I am having an excellent chance to really learn this lesson once and for all.
- By helping this friend like I did, I energetically agreed to take their problems and make them mine. Not only their initial problem but every link in the ridiculous chain of unending challenges that prevent them from honoring their commitment to me. Well, believe me, Hell-Louise has plenty of her own ‘stuff’ to work on! Remember that everyone has their own lessons to learn. Let others learn their lessons! You may be available to provide love and compassion but you will only delay their progress if you try to alleviate their ‘problem’.
- This whole umteenth redo perhaps will finally bring forth my well honed ability to practice Divine discernment. I have been in this situation before many times but never expected to find myself here, in this instance, due to the integrity of this particular friend! S*** happens! You know it does. How dirty do you want to get? How much can you absorb before you lose the friendship anyway? Remember, “No.” is a complete sentence!
All things considered, I seem to have failed the test! But I did learn from this experience. I am not bitter and will not disavow having friends. I will just bring a whole new level of wisdom into my future relationships. Live and learn. It’s what being human is all about.
© Louise Kearns 2013. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to share this article in its entirety on the condition that full credit is given to the author, it is distributed freely and the URL https://helllouise.wordpress.com is included.