Pick-pocketed by A Friend

30 Jan

“People in your past have dipped their hands in your purse and taken what was yours.” – Max Lucado

We are all owed something by someone.  An apology.  An explanation. Justification.  A childhood.  A marriage. A chance to prove our worth.  Trust.

Every one of us carries wounds from a hurtful conversation, a past snub, an intentional slur. And the closer the person was to us who did it, the deeper the gash. A thief enters a home he has not been granted access to and steals things that are not his.  A friend enters a home that she has been invited into, takes things that she has been offered, and then, once you are both comfortable with this arrangement, occasionally oversteps the boundaries and takes more – often of a personal nature – knowledge. And disperses that.

When a thief steals, we feel unsafe.  When a friend steals, we feel betrayed. And we retreat or shut down or vow to cut off all friendships and live a pathetic hermit existence. Or we vow to get even. Even though we often dip our hands in another’s purse while our own is being ransacked.

  • Learn to ask for forgiveness  and to mean it.
  • Learn to love your friends and be genuinely open with them without entrusting all of them with especially important information.  Use the term “please keep this confidential” sparingly.  Your really good friends don’t need to be told that in order to keep it to themselves.
  • Keep things confidential that others tell you. If you don’t think you can, be honest with them before they share their concerns.  Wounds on top of wounds take much longer to heal.
  • Learn to walk away.  Learn to not respond to hurtful emails sent just to bait you. Learn not to respond to vindictive comments said just to spite you. Learn to be okay with leaving things unsaid.

In the movies, there is almost always that scene – where everything is confessed and everyone realizes just how woefully wrong some of their previous judgment calls were and how utterly confusing their conflicting communications were.  If it’s a romantic comedy, this is followed by a lot of mushy I Love You and let’s start over and forgive the past because you’re the only one for me.  If it’s an action film, this is usually followed by a slap on the back or a quick-witted barb or something to show that the guys realize they were always fighting on the same team.  If it’s a science fiction account, there’s really no need for this scene because everyone is too busy handling the alien carnage and getting patched up, unless they are lucky enough to book a vacation stay in a Ewok village in which case they can learn that the person they were crushing on was their own twin.

That scene rarely happens in real life.  In real life, you don’t always get to know the how and the why and the when and the for how long.  Often because the other person doesn’t even understand why he or she is acting this way.  In real life, you get told that you walk too fast, apologize too often, ask for too much, ask for too little, talk too much, talk too little, have wacky personal beliefs, aren’t negative enough about life and…slash bike tires.  And then, when you choose to walk away, you are told that you are acting immature because you won’t fight back. And so you keep walking away.  But then realize you are being followed.

It’s times like these you want to slash a bike tire. Instead, you just keep walking, knowing your shadow will eventually get distracted along the route and take a different path.

Still beats finding out you were in love with your twin.



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