In which I stop looking for friends.
I’ve come to the conclusion it is better to focus on being a friend rather than looking for friendship.
Friendship is hard. I’m not good at dealing with the end of things – losing someone to death is hard enough, but losing someone because of miscommunication or mistakes feels worse. It feels resolvable, but impossible unless both people want to resolve things.
I’m writing this in advance, so I have time to think about whether I want to publish it. I made some bad mistakes in the past and hurt someone. A close mutual friend now also mistrusts me. I’m trying to rebuild these relationships, but they seem resistant. I don’t want to beg for forgiveness when that is clearly annoying them and causing resistance. I’ve tried. I don’t know what else to do. (Edit – since I wrote this, the person I hurt initially and I have moved forwards and the past is healing, but the second person does not want to talk to me.)
“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” – Bob Marley
I don’t know whether these are people worth trying for anymore, if they don’t want to heal the rifts. They both seem convinced that because I hurt people, I am a bad person. I know I’m a flawed person. I don’t know how to prove that I’m changing myself. Silly time. Be faster. I want to believe everyone is worth it. I don’t want to let go, not because I feel hurt, but because I want to be connected. These are people that are beautiful and that I miss.
“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.” – A.A. Milne
I want to feel sure of my friends’ support. Is that selfish or greedy? Sometimes I think they make me feel like I’m being selfish, and sometimes I think that’s just my thoughts telling me. None of us are mindreaders. I just want them to communicate with me. I try to tell them this, but it’s impossible to find tactful words when someone seems certain that I am the bad person in this. I know that the hurt I caused came from insecurity and from not dealing well with emotions and conflict, and from being hurt myself. I want to be able to move on from that, not just me move on from it, but everyone affected move on from it. But I want us to move on together. Is that stupid and idealistic? Is it bringing me unhappiness? I feel like it is the right thing to do.
“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” – Jane Austen
There’s love and not love. I don’t know any inbetweens. I feel confused when other people hold back, or don’t want to heal problems. I fall into resentfulness when I feel like I would go through hurt and danger for people, but they wouldn’t for me. How do I focus better on being in a good frame of mind, so that I can give and don’t think about taking energy from people?
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” – Henri J.M. Nouwen
When I’m in a bad place, I can tell who are the stickers, who are the people who see things through. Those are the people I know I need to not take for granted and show more care for, but I can’t help trying to show that to the others, to the ones who withdraw, and spending my energy there. I know I try to be overhelpy sometimes, to fix things. I need to have more practice at sitting quietly with hurt. But I also need action. Is that hurtful to others? I want my friends to at least show me they are there, rather than be silent.
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” – C.S. Lewis
Maybe this is it. I don’t know. I instinctively feel that art and philosophy and music and love are absolutely necessary. They can get swept aside by more urgent needs, like hunger, or bodily pain. I believe a value to survival is essential. But maybe I am being too serious about it. Need to lighten up, feel less heavy and shine. I try to focus on that, but sometimes my clowning springs from the dark. How can I be light and fluffy and silly and still substantial? I need that rooted in love.
I just want to know the people are there, and they care. How can I let go of my hurt that some of my friends have grown distant and mistrustful? How can I continue being forgiving and gentle to myself and others, when there is hurt that I have caused still in the world. I need it to be at rest. Is that selfish, or loving? Does it matter? Why do others think it matters?
I hope I can accept that I can’t change how other people think about me. That I can change how I behave and act. That I can focus on love, without tangling myself up. That I can forgive myself when I make mistakes, and that I can come back to my centre. That I grow lighter.
I hope that I can remember to look at both sides, and hope for others to be able to do the same, in their own time, and of their own free will.
I hope that I can be a good friend to the universe, no matter what the rest of the universe is trying to get up to.