Monday, January 17, 2011

Positively Painful Friends

"An insincere friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind."   ~~  Buddha

Whenever we enter into a friendship we open the door to our heart. Upon swinging wide the entrance way to welcome in those confident com-padres we might find that some of our guests stand just inside the threshold and never leave the foyer. These admirable acquaintances never really abide in the heart. So if they choose to stay or leave they will never be more than a friendly hi and hello, and we do not miss them much when they depart. 

There are others who venture beyond the foyer and make their way into the parlor. These fast friends stay for awhile. They share tea and cookies, but they never get really comfortable, and remain at a bit of a formal distance. 

The bosom buddy will linger for a while at the foyer making light conversation. As they feel more comfortable they will make their way to the parlor, but they enjoy your company much more that the condiments. Your invitation to dinner is gladly accepted and you stroll together into the dining room. This is the room where the warm intimacy of friendship is kindled; a true fellowship, dining together, sharing the cup and conversation. 

You and your bosom buddy visit the dining room often and soon, together, you discover each others hopes and dreams, aspirations and fears. It is in this room that the bond deepens between the two of you. As the keeper of the heart, you have allowed your honored friend the freedom of the house. Even the garden of your soul has been revealed to this special supporter.

And then it happens, something positively painful. You are betrayed. The bottom falls out of your world and everything you had crashes into bits and pieces. The shards of china that held your most intimate moments are nothing more than fragments of what once was. You are wounded and broken and wonder to yourself, will I ever be whole again? The tears you shed can not wash away the pain of rejection, treason, deception, or hypocrisy.

Once again you are alone in the house. In quiet contemplation you feel the ache of loneliness and pain. In the pain there is emotion, troubling turmoil, but there is also healing found only in the anguish. The hurt comes in waves, sometimes washing over us with a mighty force, knocking us to our knees and stealing our strength. Other times it simply laps at our ankles reminding us of the cold emptiness that lives in the hearts of others.    

If we avoid the beach of bereavement we only stunt the healing process. Instead of allowing the flow of painful, healing waters to wash away the affliction we fight to dam it up, only succeeding in driving it deeper into the source. Our only choice is to feel. It is in feeling the grief that washes away the self-doubt, the worthlessness, and the failure, and brings the freedom to open the door to friendship once again.   

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