I recently had an encounter with a friend where she told me how something I was doing in the friendship was not working for her. I was sick and dealing with a fussy kid that day and in need of a restorative time and instead of my needs being met even part way, I was asked to put her feelings first at a time when I felt stretched thin.
At first it was hard. She started listing grievances and I wasn’t hurt or defensive, I was more just annoyed. I always feel strongly that what we focus on in relationships is a choice. We can all point out flaws, annoyances, offenses, but I often feel this only makes others feel unappreciated and not good enough. When I feel myself reciting a list of grievances, I switch to a list of things to be thankful for, the things that have been done rather than undone.
But, I was being asked for something different. I was being given the opportunity to honor the fact that my friend was bothered and didn’t feel honored in some way. My job was to listen and reflect my understanding. I was being asked for full presence. What I thought of the situation was something I could figure out later.
It was tough, but necessary. I was sick and tired and impatient at first. But I wanted her to see that I heard her, that her light was being honored. I worked to put my own things aside, reassure her that I was still going to be present even after our discussion and that things were alright. I was given the opportunity to serve.
What I thought about it, dealing with my feelings and choosing what I wanted to do with the relationship would come later.
And later, I was confused as to what to do so I waited. It isn’t that I’ve ever been afraid of conflict, it’s that separation has always felt wrong. Even when I’ve decided to end a friendship, I’ve wanted to do some with a lot of love in mind. 😉
If I decided this friendship was no longer serving me, I could make peace with that, but how could I do something like that in the most loving and respectful way possible?
I waited for a sign.
The sign came while listening to the latest audiobook by Gabrielle Bernstein, The Universe Has Your Back. She spoke words that set me free, words that resonates with my spirit. She said, to paraphrase, meet this person again for the first time. The words filled me with love.
Could I really hit reset on the whole entire thing? For me, the answer was yes.
Resetting my perspective freed me instantly and accelerated healing. Quickly, I was able to regain and loving, joy-filled energy and project that into the relationship. It set her at ease, too.
Now this doesn’t mean all relationships are meant to be saved, but it does mean that if we walk away, we can walk away with love.
Next time you hit a bump in a relationship, try two things:
Focus on the positive. Express gratitude for what is in the relationship instead of what isn’t.
Meet the person again for the first time. Marianne Williamson calls it something like Jesus meeting Jesus. For yogis, it’s a namaste thing put into practice off the mat.
When you need guidance, ask for it. Then await the answer. It always comes. ✨✨