Just a few hours ago, as I write this post, I said goodbye to my best friend, Brenda, who was on her way to the next stop of her east coast journey. We’ve never been big on demonstrations of affection, but I started tearing up this morning, and then again when we went out for one last lunch before she hit the road, but we diverted that successfully too.
When it was actually time for her to leave, we hugged, but I didn’t cry then, nor did she. I saved my tears for this blog, I think.
Brenda and I have known each other since we met in grade 11 Phys Ed. We often joke that it was our mutual hatred of PE that got us together, but it was a fateful misdialed telephone call that sealed the deal. I immediately called Brenda to come with me for moral support to meet Flirty Wrong Number Guy. Thankfully he was a no-show. We sat outside Amor Honda for at least two hours, telling our secrets, spilling our souls, and bonding so deeply we’ve been bent, but unbreakable, since that fall evening in 1977.
UPS AND DOWNS
Some may think we stay together because we share so much history, but in reality, it’s because I can be completely myself with Brenda, and she with me. There is no need for pretense or hiding. We know each other so well it’s impossible. We’ve taken turns in the roles of benefactor, coach, relationship counsellor, tough-love dispenser, travel companion, fashion consultant — it goes on and on.
People who don’t know us have often asked if we’re sisters. It always surprises me, because I had tumultuous relationships with my sisters when I was young. But Brenda is indeed part of my chosen family, and I hers. (However, it was kind of funny when we went to Costco and I was holding her membership card and the clerk actually thought it was me in the grainy picture. Even funnier that we could actually see the resemblance too.)
We’ve never had a real fight where we intentionally hurt each other, but there have been a few misunderstandings and drifts. We let a man come between us once, a child another time (or rather, fear of what a child would do to our relationship), but we’ve always managed to find our way back to each other.
But, there was one time....
TWO FEARS: JUDGEMENT AND WHAT WE MAY HAVE TO GIVE UP
Of the 10 fears I listed, I feel them all in varying degrees at varying times, but there are two fears I struggled with mightily last year that almost cost me several relationships, including mine with Brenda.
In late 2014,
my life opened up in such a way that I fully and completely embraced my beliefs about energy and souls and love. It also led me to accept that it is my passion to help people heal their stories.
However, I didn’t believe that my friends or family could understand who I was becoming. I feared both their judgement and that they would pull away from me because of my ‘radical’ beliefs did not jibe with theirs. So, I pulled a pre-emptive strike. I became the judgy one who put up the walls so that I wouldn’t be hurt. Instead, I hurt them. But thankfully, many of my friends and family called me on my behaviour. Brenda was at the top of the list. She was having none of it. She said I didn’t get to decide and that as long as I was me, she was good with that.
I’m here to tell you from my own experience that just because we change, it doesn’t mean we have to let go of everyone in our lives. Give them a chance, and yourself too, because you never know how far they’ll rise to meet you. Sometimes it’s only our zeal that causes the ones we love to judge — our behaviour, not us per se. I’ve learned that the people who have been in my life for a long time deserve more than being cast aside because they no longer fit my mold.
Sometimes the relationship will end, but these are often unsatisfying (or unhealthy) relationships that only seem to flow one way. We may hang on for the sake of history, but if we get real and honest, we probably struggled before and what we are actually hanging on to is the habit of perpetual pleasing. From a safe distance, this friend or relative may eventually accept that you actually haven’t fallen off the deep end, that you’re happier because you’re evolving.
BLESSED ARE THOSE WITH FRIENDS WHO ENCOURAGE US AND FOLLOW US INTO GROWTH
Brenda and I hadn’t been together since last year. I’m touched beyond measure that she spent this last week with me. I knew within moments of seeing her that I was not going to work and so I let go of the belief that I could keep up with my 30-Day course challenge. It can wait. Friendship and our time together was far more important.
Nothing happened that doesn’t always happen when we allow ourselves to trust in our love and respect for each others’ differences. We did what we do best: we talked, we ate, we drank coffee, we drank wine, we ate, we talked, we read together, and we connected on that same deep level that we’ve always shared. And I get it again that although our paths are different, they will also lead us to the same end and will always be entwined.
Perhaps Flirty Wrong Number Guy was actually an angel who put us together so that we would raise each other up throughout our lives? As I wrote in an earlier blog, I Plan, the Adjustment Bureau Laughs, I believe the things we encounter in life are not random, but adjustments that bring us back to fulfilling our fate.
No matter… No one else but us needs to understand that I love this woman more than I can say. I know that she will always be the one I call when I need someone to set me right, if I need help, have some amazing news to share, or I'm broken and need her to help me piece myself back together. We are meant to be best friends forever.
She is my person.
kathy mercure is a writer, storyhealer and a storylistener. Her life’s work is to gently draw stories from her students and help them unblock their writing, find their voice, and heal their lives. Her passion is to support women and men in realizing their true identity as a valued human being, claiming their passions, and speaking their truth as they become their most authentic selves. (Photo by EagleSpirit Soul Shots)