Earlier this week, one of my former best friends called me a miserable, toxic, and disrespectful person – adding to a list that already included hateful, negative, unsupportive, and judgmental.
Rewind six-months, and I took the risk of commenting on her personal life to better understand something I was uncomfortable with. Obviously, this wasn’t well-received as demonstrated by the several months of little communication afterward. In the end, there was no apology nor kind gesture I could offer that would sway or calm her down. Our nearly decade-long friendship just came to an end without a single conversation to clear the air.
This conflict, on the bright side, has been one of the larger indications of my growth in the past year. Before, this sort of disapproval and harsh language would have destroyed me completely. I would’ve shut down and let my ego get the best of me by pretending I didn’t care. But instead, my strength and maturity made me proud. I owned and embraced all my feelings, took responsibility for my actions, and never lost sight of what was really important.
How’d I do it?
Well, last year after struggling with my past, my work, and my husband, I learned the value of accountability, speaking up, and being true. Those tension points eventually made way for an unprecedented confidence, much deeper conversations, and some pretty incredible bonds. I live and love in reality now. I’m happy in my truth. And it’s for these and other reasons that I can remember my wholeness, and the wholeness of others, even in the midst of discord.
Not to say it was easy.
We tend to forget sometimes that our current lives, actions, and decisions are the direct result of our combined lifetime experiences. We don’t all process situations, people, or feedback the same way. And because our journeys are our own, we can’t expect everyone to accept, understand, or support our growth. It is only when we can define ourselves independently from the opinions, criticism, and praise of others, while maintaining mutual respect, that we will be on the right track to living wholly, truthfully, and with no excuses.
It’s unfortunate that we’ll lose some people along the way – and it’s much worse when those people are dear friends. But as long as we don’t lose ourselves, we’ll find that everything works out for the best, eventually. It always does.
“When you could look in the mirror like, ‘There I am’
And still not see, what you’ve become.
I know I’m guilty of it too, but not like them.
You lost one.” – Jay Z, Lost Ones