Sidetracked



Letting go

I’ve been stewing over some friends’ problem for the past week or so. What’s going on with them isn’t related to me, but it has deeply affected me. I tend to absorb the emotions of people who are close to me. These friends are going through a breakup and it’s complicated, as breakups usually are, and as much as I hate choosing sides I just can’t help myself in this instance. I am livid with one of the friends for hurting and betraying the other.

I know forgiveness is important. That’s what I am working on right now. But after forgiveness, how do you look at the person who hurt your friend the same way?

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  1. * mike says:

    Man, that sucks.

    Lauren and I are currently on a spring friend-making mission. It isn’t easy.

    If the globe keeps warming, you guys will eventually have to move north. That’s what we’re counting on.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 4 months ago
  2. * ~A says:

    I’m trying to realize that befriending someone means, eventually, accepting them for how they are – they’re faults and gifts – but focusing on what they bring to my life. In other words, how a friend is developing shouldn’t really be my realm of concern: I should be appreciative of the friends I have and make sure our relationship is the foremost in my mind. If they do things I don’t agree with then I might tell them but, eventually, I have to just let them live their own life without comment from me and that may include letting things go that I have a hard time dealing with…

    This isn’t very clear.

    How about this: if you have a hard time with this friend ’cause the other friend got hurt then you’re assuming too much responsibility for your friend. What happened with the friend is his/her story and need not affect you more than when dealing with the hurt party. If you decide that what the one friend did to the other was also a slight against you and that you can no longer be friends with that person then you should be honest with yourself and with them about that, too. Otherwise, focus on what you like about them and enjoy that – ’cause the other thing, that’s their own life drama, you just happen to know that jilted party in this instance.

    I guess you learn to look at that person the same way ’cause, really, that person shouldn’t owe you anything. That person can only be his or herself and you’re a friend or you’re not – they either bring you joy or they don’t but it shouldn’t have anything to do with their personal hang-ups, issues or struggles. This, I guess, is just one of those times when a friendship is tested: can you still value your relationship with them even when they’ve disappointed you with actions they’ve taken in their own life? …and not all of them pass.

    Again, this is the kind of thing I’m trying to work on and I’m only sharing it with you ’cause it seems to apply.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 4 months ago
  3. * Rebekah says:

    ~A, thank you for the advice. I think I may be looking at this whole thing the wrong way. I was closer to the friend who was left, so maybe that’s why I feel like choosing sides.

    Mike, Chicago will freeze over before Austin is under water.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 4 months ago
  4. * Rebekah says:

    I mean, I am closer to the friend who was left.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 4 months ago
  5. * ~A says:

    Mike, Chicago will freeze over before Austin is under water.

    That’s pretty great.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 4 months ago
  6. * mike says:

    Either way, LA is going to end up in the ocean before either happens.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 4 months ago
  7. * ~A says:

    *snarf!

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 4 months ago
  8. * ~A says:

    http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/ This poem (4/6/2007) reminded me of this post.

    Actually, perhaps no one will visit here again in time. (No one may visit at all.)

    Here it is:
    Poem: “Failing and Flying” by Jack Gilbert, from Refusing Heaven. © Alfred A Knopf. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

    Failing and Flying

    Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
    It’s the same when love comes to an end,
    or the marriage fails and people say
    they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
    said it would never work. That she was
    old enough to know better. But anything
    worth doing is worth doing badly.
    Like being there by that summer ocean
    on the other side of the island while
    love was fading out of her, the stars
    burning so extravagantly those nights that
    anyone could tell you they would never last.
    Every morning she was asleep in my bed
    like a visitation, the gentleness in her
    like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
    Each afternoon I watched her coming back
    through the hot stony field after swimming,
    the sea light behind her and the huge sky
    on the other side of that. Listened to her
    while we ate lunch. How can they say
    the marriage failed? Like the people who
    came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
    and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
    I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
    but just coming to the end of triumph.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 3 months ago


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