When I was going through my personal hell, I made the mistake of telling my story to the wrong person.
We’ve probably all done that, hey?
I didn’t know she was the wrong person, quite the opposite. I thought she’d be supportive and empowering because that was who she seemed to be.
Colour me surprised!
She was the exact opposite. Her words sent me into a tailspin of anxiety and self-doubt. Luckily for me, my best friend and therapist caught me and set me back upright and the damage was minimal. When a therapist tells you someone has given you bad advice, you know its true! I find great comfort in that.
I was angry about the whole experience for a good while.
Angry with myself for taking her at face value and angry at her for totally transposing her own experience onto mine with such…fierceness, certainty and superiority. I was also really disappointed in her, I thought she was better than that. It seems silly almost but I felt like she’d betrayed my trust even though she hadn’t really. Id gone to her with my own expectation and suffered because of that. Live and learn!
This brief interaction had a big impact on me and I’ve thought about it often over the past year. The whole thing really taught me about being true to oneself and standing firm in ones own experience. My exchange with this person and the following inner dialogue I had in my head in imaginary defense of myself, really cemented my convictions and beliefs. WHat I was doing WAS right for ME, regardless of what she said, thought or did.
It also helped me place trust in the important people in life. Myself, my best friend and my therapist. I was able to see that even if I couldn’t trust myself at all times back then, I was able to trust my best friend-there from the beginning and my therapist, a trained professional. I had my team and they were helping me heal. I knew they wouldn’t lie to me or lead me astray. In a raging sea of uncertainty I was trusting myself to trust them and that brought me peace and confidence, at a time when I needed exactly that.
In the end, what was a stressful interpersonal exchange turned out to be a beautiful gift and lesson. I just love that! And I’m ever grateful.
I eventually got over most of my negative feelings and I’m able to remain on friendly terms with this person, wiser now because of it. Something she said during that conversation stuck with me though and I’ve recently been able to process one final gift.
“How are you going to live the rest of your life with this person, not knowing? Not ever being really sure? Do you really want to live like that!?” I found that thought circulating through my head, over and over like a koan until I finally came to this magnificent realization, with much laughter:
Life is uncertain.
“Do you really want to live like that!?” she asks me.. YES! That’s how I should be living!
I should be living with never really knowing because, hey! Guess what? We don’t know. We only think we know. Nothing is certain. Nothing is certain. Nothing is certain.
I want to embrace the not knowing. I want to live comfortably in the unknown. I HAD that so-called security once before and found out it was naught but an illusion. I’m not going back to la la land again, so yes Friend, I do really want to live that way. Not out of fear but out of awareness. I feel like I’ve woken up to a Universal truth and am unable to go back to my prior way of thinking.
This person challenged me and sent me for a loop but in the end, the whole experience was an amazing gift. She helped me see and feel and experience an important truth. I am wiser, calmer and greater for it.