Forgiveness: For the Love of You and Me.
I have been incredibly strong-willed in the past few months. I have chosen to take a step back from people in my life that are negative and draining to communicate with and spend time with. In doing so, I have lost friends and pulled back from some family members.
With my transplant looming and many thoughts crossing my mind about the people in my life, I have chosen to give some real thought to why I chose to walk away from some people. Was I being petty? Am I being too selfish? Was I being overly sensitive? I’ve done some hard thinking and it’s made me second guess a few of my decisions. Some of them I still stand by, but others are ones that I’m not 100% sure about.
A few years ago, I got really upset with someone who had been really close to my heart. We grew up together and she has always been someone that I’ve had amazing family adventures with. It was a misunderstanding at the time, but I lashed out at her and since then our relationship was never the same. I kept my distance and for about four years I wasn’t in contact with her much, except for birthdays and family occasions. She’s getting married soon, and with my transplant coming up I’ll be unable to attend. I gave her a call a few days ago and the conversation simply flowed, like we never really lost touch.
Simply having taken the step to reach out and find out how she’s doing felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. She’s my younger cousin, someone who has always looked up to me and she has always been someone that I have admired for her zest for life and the way she carries herself. We always had a great time together, and family holidays were that much more exciting when we were all together.
A close friend of mine really hurt me, several times, over the years. She would say that she was there, but never really made herself available. When I was in hospital for nearly a month, the time I had been listed on the transplant list, she visited me in hospital twice (I didn’t expect her to every day, so I was very happy to have seen her), but for several months after that I never heard from her. We had a great friendship. We had amazing nights out, we went on holidays together, countless laughs, working together made it that much easier for us.
I felt like the friendship was very one-sided though. Through every setback or heartbreak she experienced, I was there within seconds to be by her side. I made the effort to check in with her to make sure that she was okay. When I went through similar and different experiences that I really battled with, she wasn’t there. I would have forgiven if it was once or twice, but when the number of times she wasn’t around, cancelled plans or ignored calls became countless I took a step back and chose to distance myself.
We have a mutual friend who is still in contact with her. I’ve wondered about whether walking away has truly been worth it, because I was never completely honest about how I was feeling. I often wonder if I was honest, and gave her the opportunity to see what was truly hurting me then we may still be friends and I would still have her in my life.
It hit home for me when I reached out to friends and family asking for some assistance for my potential donor, whether they knew someone who could temporarily work in his position whilst he was in South Africa for the surgery. She sent me a message to say that she had reached out to a friend and he may possibly be able to assist. It made me realise that she’s still quietly had my back, even if her way of showing it is different to the way that I do things.
I’m thinking hard about the people I’ve let go of and wondering if some of the friendships are worth rekindling. I don’t want a sour taste left in people’s mouths of who I am as a person, and I don’t want anyone hurting knowing that I was the cause.
Some people we do need to walk from. They were simply small parts of chapters, or brief seasons in our lives. Others, though, hold a special place that perhaps, just like fighting for other things in life… those friendships are worth fighting for too.
I treat people with kindness and care, and give so freely. Yet chose to turn my back on people that truly had a great impact on my life. Self-reflection is tough. It’s not something that I tread lightly with, but I hope to learn something new about myself everyday so that I can grow as a person. Forgiveness and patience are both virtues that I do need to work a little harder on, before making rash decisions to walk away.
People play a significant role in our lives, if they’ve been welcomed into your inner circle. Turning away from them should not be as easy as I’ve made it to be. I have realised that it is a huge weight that I have been carrying, that I really want to let go in a loving way.
Friends and family have always played a pivotal role in my life. There is no time like the present, and forgiveness can go a long way in your own life and in theirs. I want to enjoy my life, knowing that I have been honest with myself, and with those I love, in a gentle way that won’t cause more hurt.
Where there is love, there is life. — Mahatma Gandhi.