Letter to the Friend I Failed Yesterday, I’m Sorry.


To the person who reached out yesterday, hurting more than human beings should ever have to hurt.

I was so overcome with your pain when we talked that all I really wanted to do was to cry with you and just give witness to the frustration and hurt that all of us have been feeling about this situation. We all share a profound sense of powerlessness to direct any of it to a different outcome except one where you are unfairly the victim of it all.

You talked about your anger with God and asked about how to cope and what the purpose of it all was.  I got so lost in the hurt and the anger and in not wanting to speak meaningless platitudes to such pain that I simply sat with you in the misery and offered not a shred of hope or understanding.  Last night as I lay in bed I felt so taken to task over my response that I spent the night lecturing myself. Or at least my higher self lectured the me that was lying there in the dark.

No pain should ever be allowed to rob us of our hope.

I told you there is no magic and there isn’t some point where someone stands up and announces that you were the victim, innocent of all the “charges” and makes sure everyone sees the truth and knows you are a good person. There is not even any guarantee that you will ever get justice or that the “sentence” handed down will not be both painful and unfair. You may never be proven right and the other people may never have to face any music of any consequence.  You act, putting the needs of others first and you are rewarded with this, while they act with selfish narcissism and they are supported.  You speak the truth and no-one believes you, they lie and every word is accepted without proof.

But I do believe there is a reason for all of these things. Part of the answer lies in you finding out who you really are and what your journey here in life is all about, and the other part is in understanding how this experience can actually serve you.  We are indoctrinated with ideas and beliefs from the moment we are born. We are like empty vessels, unpainted canvases, that everyone and everything begins to fill and paint on. We do not choose these things. Some are offered and some are forced, some are survival. Within all of that we start to formulate our beliefs, which direct the way in which we think, which directs the way in which we interpret the world. When we are closed, life allows us to go along in our boxes with our blinders on. We see and do nothing that contradicts our vision or opens us up to different possibilities. But just because people do not see does not mean that things are not blowing up all around them. Their life may be just as dysfunctional as our own but they appear happy and untouched by any of it. They sit in the safety of their boxes, with all their “beliefs” intact and unchallenged. Life has zero impact on those beliefs and they sit without ever moving forward.  Where they were 10 years ago is exactly where they are now.  They are the same person.  Exactly.

Life challenges our beliefs, and therefore the way we think, and therefore the way we see the world. If we are open we are given experiences that challenge us and make it very clear where we have work to do. And it is painful work. The path to a higher understanding, a more evolved spiritual self is not sitting on a beautiful mountain top humming mantras with bells sounding and water running. It is hard damn work. And we are beaten down. We cry. We bleed. And no-one can ever know how life is ripping us apart because this journey is so intensely personal, even when we are swimming through icy waters towards life rafts with dozens of other people.

But in enduring we gain insight and understanding. We grow. We find strength. We move forward. And when we are ready, we will go to battle with the next belief that we hold on to that limits us and keeps us in a box that we have used to shelter us from life.

We were never meant to be sheltered from life.

We aren’t meant to hold onto these bodies of ours and hide them in a closet and keep them perfect for a hundred years. Everything about this life is about the cycle where we are born, we navigate, we experience, we tire, we sleep, we die. What good is a brand new set of golf clubs that we never use? What love do we have for the golf clubs now dented and faded and worn with years of playing, years of great games and times honing our skills?

We are meant to open and use. We are meant to embrace life and head down paths with dark unknowns and huge mountains and scary caves.  We become stronger with every obstacle we encounter and overcome.  Our lives should leave us dented and worn and faded from years of being out there, playing the game, honing our skills.

So there is pain in life. It means you are alive. It means the universe is reaching out to you. It means you are up to the challenge and it means that you are moving forward. It is only when we interpret these things as evidence that we are “bad” or “sinners” or “worthless” that we stumble. Of course, the people hidden in their boxes, still at the starting gate of emotional and spiritual understanding call you all those names. They insist that they have no problems and life is only good and everything is great. Of course, they point at you and say and do cruel things to try and stop you from leaving them there. They are not going to get out and experience life so they need life to always circle around them relative to their limited vision of what that is. Drama is often the only way they can do that and so they become experts on how to create it. They become addicted to it. They need it.

They do not see what you see. They do not feel what you feel.  They don’t accept responsibility for themselves.  They don’t learn and grow.  They try to pin you to their world in every way they can but they can only succeed when you agree to stand there and not move forward … and away.  Walking away and leaving them where they are is always an option.  Always.

Your life is saying, ” here, SEE this! See the deeper meaning, see the truth, see yourself. Reach for it. Grow. Be.” Trials are gifts IF we understand and use them. And they are hand-picked gifts stitched together with the power of the universe, meant to give us a deeper, more meaningful life. They provide connections on such a deep level that our souls weep with the beauty of it all. Don’t fear them. Meet them head-on with your chin held high and know that you are so beyond worthy.

THAT is what I should have said yesterday. Forgive me for not having done that. I am saying it now. I am saying it because I love you and I too have wanted to curse God and smash a wall. I have felt anger so deep that it scared me . . . but I have also felt joy and peace so exquisite that I cannot give it words and I am grateful for every experience this life has brought me. I am grateful because through it all I have learned that I may not control the universe, the world, or even this block on which I live . . . but I am in control of me and I get to choose who I will be. Nothing that other people throw at me or do to me gets to take over MY steering wheel.

My life. My terms.

I just need to be reminded of that sometimes.

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