Unity, harmony, and mutual respect, are just within reach of us at this moment. Are we ready to grasp ahold of these? Sigh, I wish it to be true. So I start within my inner being. How can I contribute to better unification, harmony, and mutual respect?
There are many people with personalities that are in contrast to mine. Am I open to being more of a balancing color to theirs, rather than clashing and vying for all the attention? Might I listen more than talk at this person?
At this juncture in time, everyone is yelling and nobody is listening. There is pain, hurt, anger and fury. I have witnessed several family members bash each other on social media. It is quite disheartening to see such deep-seated resentment and division breeding amongst us.
What can we do to correct this situation?
Listen to each other. A very simple process. I was in marriage counseling years back and we tried a method using a wooden spoon. Whoever had the spoon in hand, got to speak. The other person had to listen. How easy is that?
Respect one another. Can you look at the other person with the realization that he/she is not a serial killer? Because most people aren’t.
Love each other. This takes a bit more work for some. I remember reading an article in the 90’s about a weekend experiment in which women who were pro-choice and women who were pro-life attended. Before the weekend began, the women were asked to write a list of what they thought of those on the other side of the spectrum. The one common word they used: Nazi. Wow.
Each person was assigned a counter person with opposite beliefs to partner with for the weekend. Their very first activity was to sit, cross-legged, facing one another. They were instructed not to say one word but to make eye contact with one another. Within minutes of this activity, the women began to cry and hug one another. Powerful.
If any of the women had changed their beliefs by the end of the weekend, it was not noted. That was not the point of the experiment. Many continued to stay in touch with their partner in friendship and in love.
Because we are spiritual beings, when we chose to look into the eyes of those who do not agree with us, most of us will react in love.
So my challenge to all, including myself is to focus and implement each one of these corrections one week at a time. Is the willingness to do so within reach?
Most people have or have had that one friend they call their Bestie, BFF, Roaddog, Ride-or-Die. I too have been blessed with such a gift. When we became grandmothers (far too young by the way), one week apart, we started calling each other Blessties!
At some point, in our friendship, we became psychically connected. We got hungry at the same time, tired at the same time, thirsty at the same time, and fortunately both our homes had two bathrooms because we literally had to shit at the same time. We both gave birth to two handsome boys and one beautiful daughter, in the same order. The boys we were pregnant with at the same time would make us grandmothers in the same month – August of 2010.
In so many ways, we had the same difficult childhoods. Both suffering traumatic events at very young ages before we even met and we met when we were 11 and 12! No surprise that we both started our real drinking, smoking and drugging careers together at 12 and 13.
We shared a love of Prince and the Revolution. Believing Prince was the most beautiful being that ever walked the earth. But we also fought over who saw Patrick Swayze first.
In high school, some actually thought we were twins. We shared our clothes, shoes, and accessories. Though she was put together much better than me. I was always some kind of a mess, whether it was hair or clothes, that being my nature.
We loved catching a cool buzz from beer and cruising Elysian Park when the sun was setting. I remember walking miles in the heat together to the one store that would sell us Boone’s Farms Wines. We would lie in my bed late at night, talking each other through the spins so we wouldn’t puke. When our one close male friend became a father, we got our hung-over asses to the hospital via bus to congratulate and celebrate with him.
But I was a runner. I ran away from home, friendships, relationships, schools, and yes, even my Bestie. I guess I can better define this as I ran to and from all these things. I hated confrontation, got bored easily and when things got ugly at home (which they did quite often), I hit the road. Sometimes moving to another county with my dad. I would of course, come back on weekends and holidays and hang out with her and we wrote often. When we were together, it was like we were never apart. She would, however, tell me years later that she had abandonment issues because of me and I can truly understand and validate her emotions.
I never understood how we went through a huge separation when we got together with our significant others. I think we both felt uneasy about each other’s men. Much later, it would become obvious that we had both picked abusive men. But we would never call each other out on that, maybe because then, each of us would have to look at our own shit. It doesn’t matter now, though, and we still took every opportunity we could to meet up by ourselves from time to time.
On May 25, 2003, I surrendered. I was done with my other abusive lover and best friend – cocaine. Through the program of Cocaine Anonymous, I became clean and sober. About a month later, my dear friend showed up at my house needing a place to crash. She was living in a laundromat, had lost her kids, home, car and her man. I let her stay one night but had to tell her that I could not put my sobriety on the line for her. I would be willing to take her to meetings, find a treatment center, whatever she needed when it comes to sobriety.
She was not interested but eventually calledthe number to a center I had given her. Two months later, she wrote me from that very center. We were both getting sober together! We both began a new and better way of living, though in different 12-step organizations. No matter, good recovery is good recovery. I celebrated with my best friend, when she got a job, car, home, and then her kids back! We were living the promises.
But once again, it was time for me to leave. This time to another state. There were many reasons: My kids were into too much trouble in California, we couldn’t afford to live there anymore, and my asthma was at its all-time worst. I also, needed to deal with other issues like the end of my marriage to an abuser, panic attacks and chronic illness.
Thankfully, my budget allowed me to come back often to visit.Unfortunately, I got to see my ride-or-die fall back into the world of alcohol. Along with this, was the return of misery, fear, and chaos. There was nothing I could do but pray. Yes, we spoke many times and she found a man we believed was a gift from God. He spoiled her, took her to Hawaii and married her.
“Nothing youconfess,could make me love you less.”
Things crashed down quicky for my Bestie and her marriage.She would later explain some very difficult truths, with guilt and shame. I never judged her. I was never shocked, just saddened. I wished I could be there with her. Though it was starting to seem that my interaction was more of a hindrance than help.
Shortly afterward, her number was no longer in service.She was off Facebook and her family really wouldn’t say what was going on when I asked. So for now, I just don’t know. Today, I get to experience the abandonment that I had put on her many times. Though I always said something. All I have received from my dearest friend is silence.
Two weeks ago, Prince died. The news was devastating to me. My youth, memories with my BFF, all that rushed through my raw emotional state. Furthermore, the two of us mourned separately, without any contact.
Is this friendship breakup permanent? I don’t know. Do I like it? Hell no. Can I live with it? Of course. I have a strong support system here and I hope to God that like everything else we experienced together, she does as well. Maybe that support system has recommended she not talk to me. If it will help her, I will truly accept that – for her life, sanity, sobriety, and spirituality.
Because it is not about me. Sometimes it is about what is best for those I love. If for some reason, my friendship has become stale or decayed to another, they will have to let go of me. Just as I have had to let go of toxic friends. This doesn’t always mean that we ourselves are toxic – only the friendship we had is not working anymore. I must remain unselfish when it comes to another’s spirit. That is the beauty of letting go. Giving up another so she can grow, blossom and be reborn. For this reason, I accept being – disconnected.