Have you ever had someone say something mean or hurtful - only to hide behind the phrase "I'm just being truthful"? This happened to me a while back, and it hurt more than I could ever express. The deliverer was someone very close to me (like a sister) until all of this, and then everything changed. Sadly, what happened made it very clear how this person really felt about me for a long time, and I had to make a choice that was one of the hardest I've had to make -- to walk away from a friendship at that point. I'm a fighter - I fight for those I love. I'm the last one to ever give up. This person I'm talking about was dealing with some issues that were their own personal deep-rooted issues, and I knew that what they said to me was really because they were avoiding dealing with what was really going on inside of them, but rather they were lashing out at me. Yet knowing that didn't lessen the hurt, or clear the boundaries that were <very> crossed, or fix the deep damage that many of their words caused. They were dealing with some jealousy and immaturity, and they were angry at me for choices they had made in their own life. It really hurt. After thinking about it a bit more, it actually began to make me angry. All of this was several months ago, and I was very careful about every word I said (both spoken and written) because I wanted this person to know that I truly loved and cared for them...but also that some real boundaries had been crossed by what they had said and how they had acted. Anyone around me knows that I constantly remind everyone "I'm not perfect"..."I've made plenty of my own mistakes, and continue to make mistakes all the time"..." but I also have been through many experiences in my life, and have learned much from them. I'm a personality who believes no bad experience - no matter how bad - is wasted. We have opportunity to learn and grow stronger and wiser...and we have opportunity to share and help others through those lessons learned.
When I was a younger and much more naive person, I used to believe friends would always be friends, love would never end, someone who truly loves you would never break your heart. But I have learned that just isn't always the way it is... some people come into our lives for just a season and pass right on through. But they often leave an imprint in our hearts that lasts forever. No matter what, we shouldn't waste the opportunity to learn from the mistakes, hurts and disappointments. From this I definitely learned to be careful with saying "I'm just being honest..." and make sure that what follows is not something selfish on my part or being said in any way to just hurt the other person. If I'm not saying something to them that they can learn from, grow from, find encouragement from...if the "honesty" is just my opinion rather than actual truth, and if speaking it is from a spirit that is anything other than truly Christ-like, then maybe I should keep it to myself. Maybe I should actually work on what is inside me.
Months have now passed, and the reality is that time hasn't healed the hurt and disappointment. I have a sense of peace with the decisions that I made in the situation, but am saddened that my friend never wanted to apologize or even explain. But through it all I am a stronger person, and in some ways maybe even more compassionate and nurturing. I still love this friend very much, still miss our daily long talks and very much miss being in the lives of her young children...I pray for her that she finds peace in her own heart and true Joy. (I have also ordered labels for my clothing that say "Warning: I am a nurturer by nature...if that intimidates you, then stay at least 500 ft away.")
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