Several days ago, I reached out to someone I thought was my friend with sensitive information that made me feel pretty vulnerable. I didn't hear back.
(Talk about leaving someone hanging...)
And then I did.
The feedback I received was not at all what I expected. Although I was nervous to share the information originally, I fully expected this friend to understand where I was coming from and act accordingly with compassion. That didn't happen. Essentially, she broke off our friendship.
asdkjasweoprilkzdmzkaoioialkdnasdlfosdfaf SAY WHAT?! ( <---- That's how it felt at first.)
Ouch. ouchouchouchouchouch (<----- that's how it felt a second later.)
That feeling of shock when someone really flips on you when you are expecting empathy? Yeah, that sucks. My cheeks got tingly. My eyes welled up. And this wasn't even someone I was THAT close to, but still someone I respected.
What I wanted to say?
You suck. You hurt my feelings. Apparently, I was only your friend when I was of use to you.
I wanted it to hurt.
What I did instead.
My initial reaction was to wall off. I started running the tapes through my head about all I had thought I'd done to build this relationship on trust and how in one swift text, it was all undone.
"Man, I'll never do THAT again," I thought. "I will not make new friends. I will not be vulnerable until someone has proven they are worthy of my trust. I will not do good for others until they have gone out of their way for me...."
I WILL NOT (fill in the blank). You know the drill.
(pretty solid wall you got there, sister.)
I called a couple of my close friends and talked out the hurt I felt from the interaction. One said something that really made me think... I was going about it all wrong.
She said, "Now you know you weren't friends to begin with. This makes your forward motion easier. Keep going. Don't lose momentum."
This reminded me of a card my mom gave me several years ago:
The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the
smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
GIve the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world your best anyway.
© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, 2001
It is said that even Mother Teresa had these hanging on the wall of the orphanage she ran in Calcutta, India. Call it motivation, call it faith, call it whatever. Goodness still prevails if we "do it anyway." I really do believe this. I just got thrown off course a sec. And with that-- I know I'm on a positive path, only now, with a little less baggage.
Everyday, in every way, we are getting better, better, and better,