My dear friend Kathy and I were talking the other day about forgiveness. She shared a situation with me that she was working through and asked if she could do a guest post for my blog. Without hesitation I answered, "yes!" I hope you enjoy her honest words as she struggles through one of the hardest situations we encounter in friendship: broken trust.
"I was but a child then, although I didn't know it yet. I suspect I'm still a child now. Although we grow in intellect, we're learning that we must reflect on the mistakes that we have made. Though we make them again and again. And as time goes by, it seems in fact the more we question why, the less the world has interest to reply.
We're always grabbing hold of things, pretending that we're knowing things that none of us has power to command. Well I knew that I loved you once, and what good did that bring to us? As time goes by, it seems in fact the more we question why, the less the world has interest to reply.
What of all my questions then, are they a form of insolence? For I am but a baby in my mother's ancient arms. And if the more I question why, the less the world will give me in reply, and I'll learn to stop my questions by and by."
Do you know what it's like to lose a friend? I do. People say it's like a break up, but it's not. It's much worse. To me, a friend is someone I love, respect, admire, and am excited about. I want to share everything with my friend because I want to know what sort of genius answers she'll have in response. I trust her with my troubles, and I share my stories with her. I listen to her, and I keep her secrets. We protect each other.
When you lose a friend, you lose some ability to see the good in people, and to trust them. Breaking up with a boyfriend, that's easy. It's OK to blame everything on him. Lost your keys? Blame the ex. Stubbed your toe? Blame the ex. Gain a couple LBs? Blame it on the ex! It's easy and, let's face it, it feels Good with a capital "G"!
When you lose a friend there's a part of you that is reluctant to trust the next friend. The instinctual urge to protect yourself kicks into high gear. There are feelings of betrayal mixed with shame, distrust, confusion, sadness, and it hurts. You start to question the motives of your other friends and whether or not they're capable of hurting you in the same way. You wonder if there's a way for you to work it out, maybe even build up a stronger foundation, but you're still too tired from the energy you're using to hate her that it doesn't seem like an option.
Recently I had a friend betray me in one of the worst ways. She told stories about me behind my back; bad ones, filled with lies, secrets, and all the things in between that I thought friends weren't capable of saying about each other.
So today I'm struggling with the question of whether or not to forgive her. I know that forgiveness is a fool's game, and there's potential for her to hurt me in more extreme ways in the future. At this point, I don't know if I want to be a fool, but I do know that my life (at least for the time being) is much happier without her in it.