There’s some really lame old saying about people coming and going from our lives. Only staying for a season and such. I won’t bother with putting it down in words here. But it’s about staying. And how not all people are meant to stay.
I am formed in long terms, commitments, never something short or anything in between, and so these sayings have always mystified me a little bit. The idea of someone important, a person who has held your secrets and you’ve been their brace to lean against – that they would simply slip out without much of a word was foreign to me. Now it’s not.
I didn’t even just watch it happen. I swallowed my pride and made the efforts. How about this? Okay, what about this day? You tell me what works! It felt doormatty, but sometimes you think the person is worth it. Which is why I will probably try again at some point when the time is right. Some people are worth it even after they’ve hurt you. (Sidenote: I’m not referring to the im toxic im slipping under kinda people.)
I suppose I spent a fair amount of time wondering why because nothing about a beautiful friendship disintegrating for zero substantial reasons made sense to me. It’s etched into my bones to show up yet I’m sure there’s times I missed the call to do so. It’s the most basic act, but I’ve learned it tends to mean the most. You don’t need all the right words, or to have a magic wand. You need to show up and be there as much as one person can for the good, bad, and inbetween. The flip side to this is that when someone does not show up for me I perhaps take the slight much more deeply than someone else. I maybe unfairly expect what I would give. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s just who I am. More likely it’s my oh so typical human ego expecting other people to value the same ideals that I do.
In the midst of turning this situation over in my mind more times than was probably necessary I was given more than several reminders to let go. Of the resentment. Anger. And the more precise hurt under the anger. Except these reminders were not so much of letting go, but of forgiveness so that I could let go. I remember a professor once stating that we do not like to forgive because it means giving up power over that person. There might have been something to that.
And the subtle pushes to let go were not definitively directed at solely the aforementioned situation. But instead poked at the still hot coals of several instances from over this last year. Instances in which people I’ve grown up respecting morphed into their true natures and showed me more than I cared to see. Instances in which people who are supposed speak kindly and lovingly to you spoke to me like I have never been spoken to in my life. Mind you, these were also opportunities to advocate for myself and firmly state that I don’t allow people to treat or speak to me in that way. (Thanks to my guru mistah DeeJay) Basically though, I had a lot of slow rolling anger and hurt somewhere deep, which I had quite successfully chosen to leave there because I didn’t think those people deserved for me to let it go. Because after all, they were not in the least genuinely sorry for what had happened.
And then I decided that I just didn’t want it anymore. I didn’t want to be responsible for all that hurt, anger, and darkness. I let it go because I don’t want those things to be synonymous with how I handle pain. The weight was never really mine to begin with anyway.
But in this I’ve learned. I’ve learned the truth of letting go so your own soul can rest easy. Of rebuilding a bridge someone else chose to burn. Of letting go but letting a different bridge remain charred and broken. Of knowing the peace of your own conscience resting calmly and being okay with not knowing whether someone will choose you back. These things I’ve learned.