Mistakes and apologies.
It’s been a week of errors, misunderstandings and lack of faith. It is amazing to me how one small “mustard seed” of doubt can dramatically change the entire picture. It erodes trust, makes you feel a little queasy and there are so many people around who will jump on the blame bandwagon to help you make things worse. (As if you needed any help).
This week alone I’ve questioned the ethics of a trusted friend, received bad information that would condemn this friend, and acted on it – even though my “senses” told me that no wrong had been done. Still, good social logic demanded that someone else must know more than I do – (it regarded an area in which I had no expertise) – so SOMEONE must know more. And I laid aside the friendship to investigate, get more information, and found out (in the end) that I had been right to trust all along. But the damage had already been done. How do you rebuild something that was working fine, had been invested into and faced the test of time.
I watched myself as I allowed my doubts to rise to the surface and kept my faith on the sidelines so that I would not be made a fool of. Everyone became an enemy – no one could be trusted and they were all out to “get me.” I finally came to realize that there are scenarios you can live with and those you can’t. It’s as much in my control as the very food I put into my mouth. I can control what I will live.
In this particular case, I’d been advised that this friend had done wrong, not to communicate with her and to lay the friendship aside, because despite what she may have done to help me in the past – she helped herself too.
Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? The legal world and the conventional world don’t understand commitment that way. It’s all about buying and selling and who gets what. You have to carefully select which role you will play – and you only get one choice without crossing any lines into compromise or collaboration.
In our hearts, that is not how we were made or how we were intended to live. We are truly part of each other and if I get something, I want you to have something too. Sometimes, even when I don’t get something – I still want you to have something.
It took a while to come to my generic “senses” and to realize my mistake. Thank God she is gracious. Thank God that it was the friendship she worried about too. But the entire incident raised some real questions about my commitment to my own inner knowing – to my level of faith. If the internet has taught us anything, it’s that you can prove just about any point you want to make. Why then, would I disregard myself, my own inner knowing, in favor of the opinion of strangers who were all telling me what I did not want to hear? In favor of a scenario I could not live with.
I’ve learned that my body responds. When my mind is consumed with a maze of doubts and misunderstandings and just plain ignorance and I can’t trust my own head, there is always another “sense” that tells you if you are on the path or not. In my accusatory moments, I physically felt ill. When someone told me that she was wrong or unethical, simply hearing it made my stomach queasy. There is always a landmark that will lead you back to the truth you can live with.
The truth you can live with is where I made my decision.
I could choose to believe the people who were telling me horrible things about how this person had abused my trust and benefited herself – one even saying she didn’t care anything about me or my family; or I could choose to believe in her.
The first scenario produced a weak, victimized, sick sort of feeling. The kind of feeling you need to bathe after.
The second scenario created grace, a lightness of being, happiness and resolution.
I chose to have faith. What did I stand to lose? All of the loss was on the side of the “advisors” – if I chose that side, I had no friendship, I’d been cheated, victimized and deceived - it didn’t feel good at all. When I chose to have faith in her – I suddenly had a surge of energy and relief that felt wonderful! I felt empowered again, I felt strong. It was like the feeling you have when you’re driving home from a long trip and you turn onto your street – you’ve arrived – you’re finally “home.”
I learned the value of suspicion – yes, I know that sounds strange – but suspicion can be like a door that is slightly cracked open; until we look through it, we can imagine all sorts of things, and most of the time they aren’t good! I’ve learned how to open that door widely and to accept whatever is on the other side. My reaction to it is in my hands and I can choose how it affects me or the picture of my life that I’m trying to paint. Suspicion does not mean that you should rush forward to empower your doubt, it means you need to communicate, investigate, go to the source to get your questions answered.
I want to encourage each of you to open the door when there is a suspicion and not to run with what you THINK is happening and turn an already bad situation worse. So much could have been prevented by simply talking to her – a person I call “my friend” – by confronting her directly rather than involving others who were outside of the relationship and had nothing vested and therefore nothing to lose.
Sometimes, you meet an individual who seems too good to be true . Sometimes people will just help you – and you help them when you can. Together you uplift one another. It is hard sometimes to believe, (especially if your particular boat has been battered on the rocks from time to time), but people like that do exist. I encourage you to have faith in another’s good and when they show you who they are (as Maya Angelou would say) – believe them.
Sometimes things are exactly what they seem – no ulterior motives – no great conspiracy. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and the truth is just the truth.