What a difference a day can make

Things can change so quickly in life. Choices are made, comments are disseminated, lives are impacted and sometimes nobody is the wiser. Sometimes all it takes is a real conversation where neither party is watching their words or trying to spare the other’s feelings to get clarity. On occasion it helps to just talk and air it all out although it ain’t for the faint of heart. We learn and we grow and we can get past issues that in the bigger scheme of things are just so unimportant.

I was right but I take no pleasure in that. My concerns were warranted and my perception of my friend’s actions were correct but we were able to talk all holds barred (fight really) for the first time ever and we cleared the air. Hey, we have issues, we are completely different people but we are going to work it out and stop acting like children (yes me included).

I just didn’t realize that I had helped to create such a toxic environment. I really thought I was being a good friend but when I hear my behavior and/or actions told back to me I sound so bad. I realized with help that I was complicit in the reality of our fractured friendship. Details aren’t important but suffice it to say that what I thought was helping was hurting someone I have been friends with for a very long time. We’ve been through a lot together and even though it might have been easier to just walk away we both valued enough what we had in our friendship to work our way through it. This is what it’s about really isn’t it?

We have both learned some things from this and I hope with time and patience and changes in the dynamic of the relationship we can get through it and out the other side stronger and happier for it. I have to start being a little more direct – or a little less direct in some cases. We both thought the other was moving away and we created our own drama. Looking back it all seems so uneccessary but as they say “hindsight is 20/20”.

I am grateful that my friend called. Funny thing is, my friend never read my blog so had no idea of my angst. That actually made it more meaningful I think. I’m happy we were able to talk honestly and openly and find a compromise. I do need to listen more and judge less and when my friend says something hurtful I need to speak up then instead of letting it fester. My friend needs to remember that words can hurt and when I cross a line between being helpful and lecturing, my friend needs to draw the line and say “that’s enough”.

Small things become big things when tensions are high. Big things become insurmountable when communications have failed. I think back to other people I have lost in my life and I wonder if one phone call could have made the difference. I guess we’ll really never know. I’m determined to focus on the here and now and leave the past where it is.

Here is my pledge. I will learn to accept the people I care about and the choices they make regardless of how I might feel. If I have a problem with something I will express my concern as my issue and not try to make it theirs. I will not make decisions or think for someone else. If I’m unclear about what just happened I will ask until I understand rather than put my own spin on it. When something is said to me I will take it at face value and not dissect it and beat it to death until when I repeat it back it takes on a completely different and more hurtful meaning. I will remember when someone who cares about me expresses concern for me they are not calling me weak or trying to cause me pain, they simply care. I will be more careful with my words and will only give advice when asked.

I am a work in progress so I’m sure to slip and sometimes outright fail but my friend has promised me that we can talk through these things instead of just avoiding the subject altogether. I CAN do this and I will do this because this is important to me. I am flawed but I am trying.

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