I feel so inspired.
I feel like we have a great opportunity to choose who supports us and who we reach out to. We have a choice to be lifted by the words, actions, art, service, and lives of so many around us. There are always surprise people that say kind things and reach out unexpectedly. For me, this happens in and out of social media. Granted some of our families might not be our #1 cheerleaders at all times (or ever for some) and we’ll have moments of really hard truth with close friends, I think we can find peace. I have a fighting heart that likes to feel and love and be loved. I think you do too.
I’ve had my share of hard truth sharing with friends. I mess up.
Several years ago, I was not as patient as I should have been, didn’t say things as gently as I could, and didn’t keep unhelpful thoughts to myself. I was a new mom, figuring out my place, my new life, and my new way of interacting with friends. I was called out on it. It was tough, and whether I thought I was totally wrong or right, I took the opportunity to change. It was hard because two friends came to me, they took me out for hot chocolate, then told me what a bad friend I was. They coated the message with desires to work through it…maybe. It was hard to take.
First, I had to get over knowing that they had discussed the meet-up and me personally for some time behind my back. Second, there were moments I could remember that I should have been more giving in different situations. I can rationalize that I wish they were more patient with me in my learning curve, but that’s just an excuse for poor behavior on my part. And third, I had to figure out where to go from there.
The day after they told me this, we were going out of town. It was the perfect chance to work through things.
Can I say it all went peachy after that weekend? No. Did I cry lots of tears, thinking my only friends had turned their backs on me? Yes. Was it awkward? Yes. Awkward even for the husbands? Yes.
I’m at a much different place today.
Today, I believe in being patient with our hearts. Patient with each other. Patient with ourselves.
The road to this place is still in motion. From this past experience I learned that time does heal. As I looked inwardly, I found places in myself that I couldn’t touch that needed to be changed and took the opportunity to straighten them up. Things that were totally unrelated to the situation came to light and I allowed myself to be honest with where I needed to grow. For myself, I took the hard time, the hard words, the stinky situation and let it be the catalyst for a new me.
In this process, I forgave my friends. They forgave me. One of the most healing moments was three months later. I was headed to the hospital to visit our baby girl that was only about a week old. She had gotten RSV and my not even 2-year-old was still at home with grandma. It was a scary time with the doctors breaking out phrases like “last ditch effort” but she was a fighter and was pulling through. I was worried about my mom and my little boy. I called one of these friends and asked her to check on my mom, to help her, maybe take some food, just something so she felt supported. When I breathed and dialed my friend’s number, I made myself vulnerable. I made myself open to show her that I was raw and didn’t know everything. I showed that I needed her.
We need each other. We need to lift each other.
The road back to real friendship with those friends happened. With one of them she is my absolute safe person. She’s the person I know I can be 100% myself around, the person who would cheer me when my days are dark, the person who is excited for my successes, and the one that feels my losses like they were her own. I am that for her too. We love our friendship and we love each other for who we are – for our differences and similarities. We live far apart now, but distance does not dictate love.
So what’s my take away?
Don’t be afraid to forgive – others and yourself. I give more people room to err and learn now…we all deserve that. Have I still had hard truth moments with others? Absolutely! But for my heart, I choose to fill it positively. I expect that others are acting out of their honest hearts, accepting what they give no matter what or how that gets given to me. I try to be a lifter, to leave others better than they came to me. I want to be kinder than is necessary. I choose amazing people who support me and cheer me on. I truly believe that everyone has a good heart and give everyone the chance to show it. I think we’re all stronger than we think we are and inspire each other more than we’ll ever understand.
While we figure out all this heart stuff and how to move forward changing the untouchable parts of our souls, I have something to warm you up, to inspire you.
This chowder. This healthy chowder. You get all the thickness without the dairy. It’s light and you’ll want to come back for more.
You’ll have all the happy thoughts you want when you eat this. It’s simple, it’s thick, it’s dairy free, it has extra protein in it. Bam. Fall dinner is ready and you’re going to love it. Add the clams, don’t add the clams, maybe make it a corn chowder instead…you can’t go wrong. I hope it makes you warm, that you can share it with friends, and that you’ll forgive just a little bit more today.
I want to hear about your growth…what have you learned from some hard truth sharing moments with friends.