How do I handle being mistreated by a dear friend?
A dear friend was living on my property. Before she left, she agreed to take some large items of hers to the dump. Given that we were so close, we appreciated how unnecessary it was to have any concern as to whether she would fulfill her promise. She moved out while I was traveling, and when I returned, there were all of her things. She had not removed them and left no note. I have not heard from her and calls and emails go unanswered. It just seems so strange and out of character. I feel hurt and confused. How can I hold this situation?
Wow Larry, I really appreciate your comment/response. When I read your first point about caring for my friend first, I immediately dropped out of my shoes into my friend’s. I also dropped into my heart. No one else has been able to reach her either. We’re wondering what has happened to her. Now, instead of holding a grudge and negative feelings which just made me suffer, I’m holding care. While I am still concerned for her welfare, my heart is not heavy with this feeling of being mistreated. I also realize how easy it is for me to put on my “victim” hat. My intention to not put on that hat has been deepened. Thank You!
What I am feeling goes one layer deeper. Since it’s a given that you are a thoughtful person who cares about people, I am less inclined to think that this was solely a reminder to put yourself in her shoes. What comes to me is that the generosity of spirit you extended so gracefully (both in your actions and your thoughts) was not met in kind in that moment, and put simply: that hurts. Regardless of why it happened (and we’re not judging the other person), it does not diminish the sting of being met this way while being open, vulnerable and trusting with someone. I’ve observed that sometimes going straight to empathy without a true acknowledgment of self with it, carries the risk of spiritual bypass and perpetuates the negative feelings. So if even for a moment, without adding any other dialogue, context or attempt to understand, we could acknowledge our pain without judgment, it would create space to see others more clearly. I have experienced that unseen pain is so often covered with the “shoulds” in life: i.e. “she’s my friend, I should be able to let this go” or “I am spiritual, this shouldn’t bother me”. These layers don’t allow the pain to be seen, which is ultimately what’s necessary to transmute it and return to oneness.