I woke up thinking of my friend yesterday. I spent the day looking at Christmas gifts for her while at work. I invited her to a concert. I sent her a job she might be interested in as she mentioned she was over her current one and I asked her if she was keen to go for a walk over the weekend to catch up. I got no reply.
I was trying, as she put it ‘to fit her in’ to my schedule. As regimented as that sounds, it was the truth. I did schedule her in. Wherever I could. When I could. That wasn’t as often as she would have liked but it was all I had. I was doing my best to keep her happy but I was sinking and so was our friendship. Last night she finally replied to tell me she’d be too busy tomorrow to join me for a walk…She wouldn’t be getting up early this week…or EVER for me.
She’d grown tired of waiting for me to be ready for her. She’d grown tired of waiting for a ‘full-time friend,’ and ‘couldn’t be bothered’ with the friendship I offered. It pierced right through my heart. My beautiful childhood friend was no more. She would be a memory and not a constant in my future. She wouldn’t be there at my wedding. I wouldn’t see her at hers. No more birthdays. No more Christmases. No more shopping trips. No more training days together. She’d given up on me and it was devastating.
In her break-up text she quoted me and said “you once told me that the universe was doing everything it could to keep me away from a boy” and that’s how I feel about our friendship. It was an interesting quote to choose.
That was the one that stuck in her mind, but the conversation that always echoed in mine, was the one where we agreed, that the good people in your life should never be disposable. Sure, you may travel in and out of each other’s lives, you may get busy, move overseas, fall in love, lose touch, but to deliberately dispose of someone who is offering you love no matter your circumstance…is letting yourself down. Doesn’t a friend deserve your patience? Your tolerance? Your compassion? Aren’t your best friends the ones who you don’t see for ages but can pick up exactly where you left off days, weeks, months and even years before?
What hope do we have for humanity and for each other, if even among friendships, we lack empathy? We share posts of starving children. We express outrage over the suffering of victims of war. We cry foul when an animal is mistreated but show no GENUINE love for those in our lives. Plato reflected that kindness was the key for humanity to move forward, reminding us all to ’ be kind,…for everyone (we) meet is fighting a harder battle.” No statement could be truer of our society. We are the sickest, saddest, most suicidal, socially connected but emotionally disconnected generation that ever lived and the reason for such a global phenomenon… if nothing else, is a lack of compassion.
My friend’s break-up text had a list of comparisons of our schedules. She said she was busy too, had the same commitments I did, and that my effort with her paled in comparison. All I know, is that in this life, we can’t afford to make comparisons. In this life, we can’t say, “I can, therefore everyone else should too…” because the battles that every person struggles with privately, are rarely things we know of. They’re never things we willingly share.
I don’t pretend I manage my load well. I don’t pretend I’ve maintained friendships perfectly. I don’t pretend I’m perfect either. What I do know of myself is that I think of my loved ones often, and love them always.
Have you ever gone through a friendship break up? Post continues after video.
I know that no matter where I am in the world or what I am doing, I always hope everyone in my own life and beyond is happy and not struggling with life. I know that if an emergency came around, I would be there to support them. I know that there are a handful of people who would do the same for me.
I’m not always physically there for them either but we are connected at the heart and they are the truest of friends. It wouldn’t matter if we had spent months away or off the phone, these friends would always love me, not because I am great, but because they are …and they live with compassion, for my circumstances, for their own, and for humanity at large.
I started out this post, heartbroken and perplexed at what to do. I couldn’t force a friendship with someone who no longer wanted me in her life. I couldn’t beg for someone to love me when they felt the love was lost. What I could do was keep my love constant. I could give it even if it was unrequited. I could love my neighbour, in hope of spreading that key ingredient to others. I could write this post for my own healing and remind others and myself that bitterness was never the answer, because love is instead. I could be reminded that I still had compassion for her and so nothing in me was really lost. I could focus on the good and continue to love from a distance.
I replied to her by telling her I’d always love her. That much was true. I wouldn’t pretend I could offer her the universe because at this point in my life, what I CAN give, is not enough to bring her joy. What I can offer however, is that in spite of her believing I was disposable, my love and friendship will always be a phone call away. I’m not interested in tough love. I don’t care for bluntness. I don’t care to speak my mind if it’s going to hurt somebody else. I care for love. I care for kindness. I care for a world where we are considerate enough of each other’s plights and selfless enough to give without expectation – not because we’re focussed on what a relationship brings us, but because we are instead focussed on what is right and what is good for humanity.
Love is one of the rare gifts we’re given that will always multiply when spread. Mother Theresa said “we do no great things, just small things with great love.” Right now it’s all I can manage …but for the right people, thankfully the smallest gestures are always enough. ..
Miriam is a television producer at E! Australia on ‘The Hype.’ She is a lover of love and a believer in the goodness in people. She is an unashamed lover of alliteration and prefers her puns intended. You can follow her on Twitter.