"Things everyone needs to come to terms with:
- No response is a response.
- If they wanted to, they would.
- Timing will not always be in your favor.
- Not everyone has the same heart as you." ~ FB post
Do you struggle with this, the way I do?
Having cancer has done a number on my relationships, dismantling ones I thought were strong, while creating new ones from places I'd never thought to look .
Despite the big tribe that came out in droves while I was enduring cancer, I continue to lament on the few who disappeared.
I stew. I feel hurt. And angry.
But as a life coach, I know that when I'm disappointed by others' actions, I am also resisting reality by expecting them to act as I would.
Because, of course, that's a ridiculous no-no.
And fighting against reality is how dis-ease is able to take hold and cause diseases in our bodies.
I cannot afford to hang onto the sadness I feel about the people who have walked out of my life. People I have loved.
As the quote above reminds me, not everyone has the same heart as I do. But here's where you lose me, because I know my friends' hearts.
At least I thought I did.
I wouldn't have been friends with them if they had traits that weren't conducive to building strong friendships.
And they still left.
Which boggles my mind, and leaves my heart aching. I don't know how to act, mostly because I don't understand.
"Why would a friend disappear after I was diagnosed with cancer?"
It just doesn't make sense to me, because I cannot imagine retreating if they had disclosed the same diagnosis to me.
But in the grand scheme of having had cancer and living to write and talk about it only a year later, losing a few friends is, in comparison, minuscule.
Unless it's not.
Because I lost two close friends. Friends I trusted and loved. Friends who had been around for while. Friends who I cherished and would do almost anything for.
But can I even call them "close friends"? They both disappeared without warning or explanation soon after cancer came on the scene.
I can't change what has already happened, so what's the opposite of fighting against reality or stewing in sadness and confusion?
I have no idea why they chose to retreat, nor do I have the right to judge them because I feel hurt by their absence.
I just have to feel the feelings that have been left in the wake of their disappearance.
And sometimes that doesn't feel like enough.
My immature-self wants to retaliate and deem them "bad" friends. But my wise-self knows that I just have to feel the hurt and disappointment and sadness and pain, especially when I don't want to.
Because feeling the pain is how we heal.
It's not the words we use to attack others, or the mantras we recite to feel better, or the confrontations we want to have with the people who have hurt us that makes the hurt go away.
It's feeling that leads to healing.
I have to mourn losing friends who I thought were on my team for the long haul. Discovering that they weren't is painful, but I don't get to hurt them in return.
The above quote is also a good reminder, a kind of note-to-self, that if they wanted to hang out with me throughout my year of cancer, then they would have.
And when I try to stay in touch with them, their lack of a response is a response.
So if you're like me, and you're struggling with the pain of others' hurtful or confusing actions, remember that when the troubling feelings begin to come so quickly that you may feel like you're drowning, you just have to remember to breathe.
Then feel all the feels.
Then move on.
Even when it feels hard.
Or it's the last thing you want to do.
Do it for you, the way I have to do it for myself, too.
Because you and I deserve people in our lives who choose to show up when we need them most.
It has also helped to consider that maybe God has dismantled a few relationships in order to make room for new ones that are meant to help me become the best version of myself.
I like that.