I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a friend that is struggling with friendship (and one particular friend) in many of the same ways I have. I mentioned to her my struggles in choosing to leave a friendship behind and move on, and she asked me a question so many people have: "What did she do?"
I've gotten this question so many times. I never know how to answer it.
I guess I feel guilty because I feel like there should be some concrete answer...some REASON for leaving behind a close friendship of eight years. There is none...it was a hundred, a thousand, a million tiny things. It was both of us changing, struggling with life, finding that our paths led elsewhere. Sure, I can point to specific things I found "wrong", or mean, or just downright infuriating...but when it comes right down to it, I guess I was just fed up.
I feel sometimes that in order to forgive we have to be able to be forgiving some major wrong...something so horrendous and hurtful that it has truly wounded us. I'm just mourning the loss of a friendship.
I keep going back to arguments, things said, situations when I needed a friend that wasn't there. I have guilt over not being the person I want to be: independent, strong, supportive, confident.
The final blow was an argument over email as things were ending. She said things to me that went directly to the root of every insecurity I have...and she did it because she COULD. Because she knew me that well.
Despite this, despite the really really hurtful things I remember most....the things that really left scars...I think that the person I'm struggling most to forgive is myself. She is no longer in my life, and it doesn't take much thought for me to realize that I'm okay with that. It's my personal demons I'm struggling with, the fear that the things she said to me are, in fact, true. On the heels of this fear is the anger that I would let someone hurt me...the anger that I can't just shake off the words and the hurt.
I wish I could say, as this month draws to a close, that the forgiveness I'm searching for has come easily. It has not. I hope that as time goes by, though, I can stop letting this bitterness I feel dominate what is really important: my life is better now. My friendships are stronger now. And I try every day to ignore the voices inside me and instead live life in a way that makes me proud at the end of the day. I try to be the person I want to be. Isn't this still a process for all of us?
I have a strong motivator. One of the most valuable things I learned by being Tiny Man's momma is that tomorrow, yesterday...they don't matter. TODAY matters. Can I go to bed tonight knowing that my actions today were kind, strong, purposeful? Did I live my life today with happiness? Did I leave room for grace, for accepting the unexpected, for rolling with the punches? I have to keep reminding myself that if I have done these things, I have succeeded in another day of leaving behind a life to be proud of.