My sweet sixteen girl has decided to be a humble wallflower on life’s dance floor.
Her desire for all else has evaporated, her sophomore year hanging in the balance.
Unaffected by teen worries, she remains the kindest spirit in the corner, the one nobody ever asks to dance.
I too know how to be alone, and yet I crave the sweetness of connection. And I know she has to be craving that too, even in these broken shadowy moments of her journey.
I have found that my feelings in friendship run much deeper in my human heart than my mind believes.
Certainly I have struggled with this very thing my entire life. For each and every one I know, I want the beauty of a personal relationship with complete and unbounded trust. But human society and human tendencies want categories. And they use the mind as the buffer and the judge. And sometimes – no, oftentimes, they can take advantage of that trust. Trading duplicity for my naiveté. But, so what?
I am a person who must live from the vantage of my heart, not from my head. I believe that kindness trumps justice.
Yet I also feel that the answer to every problem is wrapped up somewhere in the problem itself. So I need to stop resisting, open myself to its reality, and understand the deeper message, the solution, within.
Fresh wounds will heal just as the old ones have gradually closed, but they must be tended carefully.
Another of my fresh wounds is the recent betrayal by someone who I had thought was a trusted friend. I had felt that here is someone with whom I can share my feelings without fear of reprisal. When my confidences were positive, things were great. But when they weren’t to my friend’s liking, things turned ugly, even fearful. And the veil fell. I felt as if I had been scooped up, savored, then spat out and left to imagine the worst. And still, to this day, I want to forgive, to believe I simply misunderstood him throughout this long period of silence.
Communication, especially between trusted friends, is about expressing honest thoughts and feelings, not closing up, striking out, and leaving the other to hurt.
I feel that we tend to draw to ourselves those from whom we are most ready to learn, whether for good or ill. “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” to quote the Buddha. I have to look at this fact for both my daughter and myself, both the unsocial and the social. Certainly there are superficial differences, and yet despite them we are usually down to business with someone who feels cosmically connected as our facades seem to crumble inalterably from the alchemy.
I struggle as Merton wrote “more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.”