Life is a funny thing. We live our time on earth surrounded by millions of other people. Co-existing. Getting on with our daily lives. And somewhere along our journey, we meet these people, we make connections and form friendships with those we cross paths with every day. From as early as toddlerhood when we are taught to share with our friends, through to highschool and university where we gain a better understanding of the intricacies of relationships. And right through to adulthood where, well, we learn that things are never cut and dry. Relationships and people are complicated.
Through all of life’s seasons, we walk the road with these people, we bear witness to each other’s lives.
As moms, we form bonds with others who are navigating the road of motherhood with us. We witness each other’s children grow up, we share parts of our lives with each other. The deep, sacred and meaningful parts. We journey through the ups and downs of life with kids. We offer a shoulder to cry on when the pressures mount, when motherhood becomes too much. We cry over wine in each other’s kitchens, we laugh over coffee on one another’s toddler-stained couches. We form an understanding that no matter what, we will have each other’s backs. We listen. We offer support. We encourage. We love.
And then somewhere along the way, something happens. Someone hurts us. Somewhere along the way we are hit in the gut. Somewhere along the way, someone lets us down.
It leaves you breathless, shocked to the core. But as you sit with it and make sense of the events that have led to this point, it becomes clear that no matter how much love and support we have shown the friendship, the other person just simply doesn’t see things the way we do. You are forced to accept that people will let you down. Not always, but enough times for you to question yourself and leave you wondering whether you are half the friend you always believed yourself to be.
We try to lo live our lives with integrity. We strive to be the best friend we can be. We are not perfect. We make mistakes. But we say we are sorry. And we stop at nothing to make it better. Despite being put in horrible and complicated situations, we do the best we can to show love and kindness no matter what. We put people’s needs and situations before our own, we let them know that no matter what they can count on us, that we are not the threat.
And again, it hits you like a ton of bricks. They don’t share the same sentiments. They don’t feel the same way about the friendship that you do. Their past has tainted them and for whatever reason, they just cannot see you for who you really are. They react. Their impulsivity gets the better of them.
And they do what they have always done when things get tough. Instead of talking to you and trusting you, they push you away. Despite your honesty and patience and commitment to their journey, they push you away. Instead of trusting you and believing the best in you, they make their minds up based on their own assumptions. They act out of hurt, out their own mistakes. Instead of saying I’m sorry, I made a bad judgment call, they lash out at you, blame you, resent you. You plead with them to think rationally, to remember what they are really fighting for. But they continue to shut you out.
And just like that, your heart is left rattled. Confused. Broken. Disappointed.
You sit with these feelings for a while. You allow yourself to feel every emotion it stirs up in you. You write about it, vomit up your words on a blank page. You throw it in the trash. You type your feelings out over and over on a blank screen. It’s therapeutic you tell yourself. You delete it, word by anguished word. You dwell on these feelings for what feels like hours, days, weeks. You reflect. You go back to the beginning. You question. You doubt. You cry. You agonize over it.
And so another season comes to an end. Just like that, you surrender to the painful lesson, that there will be people who will not always act in your best interest. Some people will hurt you, some people won’t see their actions for what they are. They will let you down.
And even though you’ve known it for quite some time, you begin to see the situation for what it is. You accept it, you move on. Or at least you try. You refuse to let these experiences hinder you from loving people or showing kindness to them. You refuse to grow bitter. You refuse to let it take more from you that it already has. Instead, you choose to let it go. To learn from it, to do better. To carry on loving people despite it, despite the hurt, despite the loss.
These things come to teach us, but ultimately they come to shape us. We move forward. We breathe in. We exhale. We live.