Sunday, February 2, 2014

2/3/14—Being Friends

Tonight's energies have me thinking of people we've misjudged in our lives. Most of the time that conjures up memories of people you've trusted and then found were untrustworthy. Those can sometimes be heartbreaking experiences and cause us to question what it is about us that attracts people like that. 

I recently had a conversation with a friend about this very thing. While I do think we attract these experiences to us for a reason, the reason is not always that "we're broken, so we attract broken people." Sometimes the reason is to benchmark our own state of repair. Meaning, that if we handle the situation better than the last time it happened, we've probably healed some. 

Further, if we make empowering choices in dealing with the person, instead of choices underpinned by fear and disempowerment, then we've come a long way from the tantrums and tears we might have expended in the past. So the misjudgment may not be there to show you how stuck you are, but rather to show you how far you've grown. Or, at the very least, to give you an opportunity to grow in that moment by making a healthier choice. 

But the energies I've been thinking about this weekend are actually the opposite of all I've just said. They're about people we were WRONG to misjudge. We don't focus on those so much because we were just as wrong—if not more so—as the other person in our dynamic. 

A number of instances have come to my mind over the weekend. There is the woman whose friendship I coldly tossed aside because her energy was draining me. A couple of years later, she took my side and comforted me regarding a matter that was very emotional to me (and probably draining for her). Most people would have told me to go to hell. 

Then there's the colleague whom I always admired and considered a friend...until I found out about a conflict he waged with another, better friend of mine. I was shocked and disappointed when I heard the story. So when my colleague was dying, I didn't put forth the effort to say goodbye. And now I understand why he did what he did and I regret misjudging him. 

While we may fixate on all the "bad guys" in our lives, we all have incidents where the bad guy is us. And we may feel quite justified in the things we've done or said, but that doesn't mean the other side doesn't see you as a bad guy. They may even be right. 

Recently someone I had once misjudged was my savior. It was humbling. They reminded me I don't have to wait to see what others do in order to decide what I'm going to do. They reminded me I have more power than I give myself credit for. 

I'm someone who has been picked on, called names and bullied at points throughout my life. I'm guessing most of us have experienced someone who took our power away or otherwise diminished us. But power isn't something that's for them to take. It's for you to give, usually out of fear of some consequence happening. And if giving away your power is a pattern in your life, you become fearful of asserting yourself or taking a strong stance. That's where I was until I was reminded that, not only did I hold power, I held way more power than I thought. 

There are people you have conflicts or tension with, then after the conflict, they disappear from your reality. Then there are those you can't seem to shake from your life. So far my experience has been that the latter people merit a second look. Maybe there's more to that person beneath the part that once rubbed you the wrong way. Maybe you've both changed enough over time for things to be different. 

Friends don't always come clothed as friends, just as "enemies" don't always come clothed as enemies. It's inevitable we'll misjudge one for the other. What's important is that we don't give our power over to the bad guys and that, when we recognize we've been the bad guy, we make the appropriate amends.

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