Why is it that the mind will so readily replay the ugly and hurtful words heard as far back as childhood, but the kind and encouraging words are so hard to receive and believe? Psychologists work with patients to try to find the answer to that question, and I would guess the answers are as numerous and diverse as those who do the seeking. I have three kids and I have accepted the fact that all of their emotional ills are mother-related. That’s okay. For years after I’m dead, my kids will still be paying for their therapy. Hey – at least they’ll be talkin’ about me ☺
Life has presented me with many reasons to seek counsel and therapy. Sometimes there are things in life that are just too big to handle without the benefit of wiser and more experienced direction. I have slowly come to understand that just because someone believes something to be true of me, doesn’t mean it is so! However, once upon a time, a dear friend un-friended me, and her reason for doing so plagues me to this day.
I have survived and have in some ways thrived beyond my wildest expectations, despite unimaginable life challenges. Those who know me are aware of those challenges and they are many and varied. I wrote about my struggles a few weeks ago in a blog entitled, “Please Forgive Me If I Have A Bad Day”. Once people hear my story, the ONE thing they all say is, “Liz, you are the strongest woman I’ve ever met.” Yep, a woman is like a teabag – you don’t know how strong she is until she’s put in hot water. I’ve definitely been in a lot of hot water and I’ve come out wiser and happier than I ever imagined I could be. But I don’t feel strong. I don’t believe I’m strong. I wish I appreciated my apparent strength. You see I once lost a friend because I was not strong enough, and it doesn’t matter how many people say otherwise, her words haunt me.
Rhonda told me she wanted strong women in her life and she said I was “too weak” to be her friend. I was shattered. My best friend, Pam was with me during that meeting with Rhonda and she promised to defend me and open Rhonda’s eyes to the truth about me. A year later, however, Pam told me that the “door of opportunity” had closed for her to talk with Rhonda. I lost two friends.
Words destroy – it’s just that simple. The kind words of an acquaintance are wonderful, but it’s the opinions of friends that matter to me. I think that’s why Rhonda’s hurtful words (and Pam’s inability to defend me) have not been undone by the supportive words of hundreds of other people. I still profoundly feel the pain of losing my two good friends (at least I thought they were friends).
I don’t write this to make anyone feel sorry for me, or because I blame anyone for anything negative in my life. NO! That would NOT be the truth! I simply want people to learn from my life. Please, please, please - we must understand that our words tear hearts and wound spirits.