Trying to heal after a failed friendship, and wanting to let it go.
Has anyone ever hurt you? You’re probably thinking, “Well, Duh!” or something like that, right? If you have never been hurt by anyone, please let me know because I would be very curious as to how that feels. In most cases, however, we have all experienced some type of hurt feelings, disappointment, or anger after someone has treated us less than stellar. In reality, we know that we can’t make anyone change, but we can work on wanting to change ourselves.
Thinking back, when you were hurt, do you remember how you reacted, and how the other person responded? Did you lose control during the moment, regretting it later, and end up begging for forgiveness? Did you ignore the problem, and think it would go away, yet at the same time, let it fester up inside? Do you still have resentment or unforgiveness toward anyone in your heart, and do you notice any effect it may be having on you? For me, I know how much anger, resentment, and hurt can injure my heart. I have been hurt again recently, and it made me realize that I had unresolved issues about a situation.
I used to have a friend who I thought I could trust, and count on for life. She genuinely seemed to like me and wanted me for a friend. She even became quite possessive, which made me feel a little annoyed but more wanted so I didn’t let it bother me very much. Though I was shy, she asked me so many questions when I first met her, it kept the conversation going. She was sweet and kind, and I truly thought nothing would ever happen to our friendship that we couldn’t resolve.
Over the years, it may have seemed like I took her for granted. As she tried to get me out of my safe place where agoraphobia, depression, and anxiety had taken over, I just wasn’t ready. As many other friends had given up on me, she assured me that she was saying prayers for me and that she would always be here for me. Sadly, I chose to believe her, and it set me up for many years of disappointment. I still struggle with it now.
Let it go, they say, but how?
How can I let her go when I still remember seeing kindness in her eyes toward me all of those years ago? How can I let her go when I still remember her telling me I was her best friend, and that she would never leave? How can I give up on her completely, and do I have an obligation to keep trying? How do I stop obsessing over this situation, let it go, and move on? These are things I am exploring today as I begin the process of trying to give it to God.
If I give it to God, will the pain ever go away? Will I ever have peace about this situation? Will I ever get the answers I crave?
As I write, another part of my mind tries to have a dialogue about why I think she should forgive me. I have asked her repeatedly for forgiveness, I have tried to contact her many times over the years, with almost no response except for one that left me upset. Even though I have tried these things, and am truly sorry for my part in what happened, I need to realize and let it sink in that I can’t get from someone something they aren’t willing to give… I can’t force someone to like me. I have no control over anyone but me, and many times, I don’t feel control over myself either! What to do, what to do??? How do I give this to God when it hurts so much?
Every year I think of my old friend and want to do one thing- I want to wish her a happy birthday. Why? What are my motives, other than hoping she will respond and take me back? Are my motives selfish to bother her on her birthday? Am I doing more harm than good, or deep down, does she enjoy my attempts to try to have her in my life? Is it a game to her, and does she tell others how pathetic she thinks I am for begging her to be my friend again and again? If she were to respond to me, how would I even feel? Would I be able to contain myself from asking questions that may just set her off again? Is the stress I feel when I think about this situation get in the way of my peace? I know the answer to that question at least, and the answer is yes.
It almost feels like a pride thing to me. I really can’t say if that’s what it is, but I am hurt that she doesn’t like me anymore, and I don’t understand why she won’t forgive me when her faith has taught her to do so. I don’t know if she realizes the misery I feel over this, and if she does know, I wonder if she cares, or if she thinks of me as a lower person with lower worth because I have less money than her, a run-down house, no real-life friends, and because I haven’t achieved the “American Dream?” Is she that superficial? All of these thoughts are pointless. I need to be OK with not knowing all the details.
After throwing out my human reasoning, emptying the dusty attic space within my mind I need another perspective. Within the walls of recovery, we learn that the first step is to admit we have a problem. I have known I had a problem with this, but haven’t been able to let it go. The more I try to let it go on my own, the more I find myself obsessing over the situation. This is where the next step will come in. I need to ask God for help. Up until now, I was praying the wrong prayer over this situation. I was praying for our relationship to be restored. I was praying that I could have my friend back. I was praying for the entire situation to change. I even tried to manipulate the situation, trying to fix it myself by contacting her after she had made it clear she was done with me. My problem is that I have almost gotten addicted to getting my friend back even though I don’t know if I could maintain the friendship even if I had her back. It’s been so long, I have no idea who she even is anymore.
No matter who she is, what she does, or where she’s going, I need to say “Hasta” because I can’t have her taking up space in my mind that I could use for something positive instead. I am also realizing now as I write that maybe I want to reconnect with her out of pride (which God hates) because I want an apology from her I will probably never get. Looking back, I remember feeling hurt about the words she said to me before she gave up on our friendship. She accused me of being dishonest about my situation, which hurt. She said things that made my heart feel trampled on. She kicked me down even lower to the ground than I was. I told her that I didn’t need judgment, and I didn’t need her. I spoke out of impulse, and have regretted it ever since. If I were in her shoes though, would I have forgiven her and remained friends after she begged me? I want to say I would, but who knows what I would have done back then. I can’t take it back, and maybe she meant every word she said. Maybe she still feels this way. No matter what, I need to forget the why’s, when’s and how’s and get it through my mind and heart that I need to be free.
One verse that comes to mind as I write is 1 Peter 5:7 where it says to cast all of your cares upon the Lord for He cares for you. Many times, I try to do this, yet the very next second, I am rehashing the situation or trying to fix it on my own, with no success. I need to let it go, but how? I can’t do it within my own strength.
I need the love of Jesus to melt through the pain in my heart, healing me from desperation to change things I can’t control. If God can forgive me, I need to also forgive others. Why am I thinking about me forgiving her when she doesn’t think she did anything wrong? Because it is no longer about her. It is about me, and how much I am allowing this pain to affect my heart and mind. I need to forgive her for saying hurtful words, giving up on our friendship, and ignoring me each time I tried to reach out. I need to forgive her for any unknown things I may not know about. I need to forgive her and completely let it all go. I need to tell myself that we may never be friends again and that I will be OK. I need to stop chasing after a dream I had that may never come true. I need to dream a new dream where co-dependency does not control or lead me toward people I think I need when I all I need is Jesus Christ.
How do I let this go? I don’t know, but I will pray for God to transform my heart today. If I find myself stressing about it again, I need to put my focus back on God, and His love for me and ask Him for help.
I know I don’t have it all together. I know I don’t always do or say the right things. I know that sometimes I feel like lashing out to try to vindicate myself in some way. I know that in doing so, I would hurt others, as well as myself. Along with my character, it could dilute my sense of compassion, drowning out my message. I would also be hurting God for going against His commandment to love others and treat them as I want to be treated.
I will pray to let this go. I will say the words and see what God will do. I know I can’t do this on my own. I know that just because I want to be treated in a way that I feel valued, it’s not something I can control. I need to have my value alone in Jesus Christ, the Son of God because this world will spit me out before it welcomes me with open arms.
My letter to her that I will never send-
I need to let you go. I waited for so long, and now I realize that you don’t want me in your life, or you would have responded to my pleas. I don’t know why, but that doesn’t matter anymore. I release you, and will not beg for your friendship again. I’ll give you space to live your life without me in it. I do not know if I ever mattered to you, but I know now that as long as I matter to God, and trust in Him, that everything will be OK in the end. Even though I hurt, I’ll get over it with God’s help. I wish you no harm, only peace, and prosperity. If I ever think of you again, it will be with a smile because I need to let this go, and so I will smile for me.
May God bless you and your family.
Those words just felt so final and bittersweet. To say goodbye, and know that I never have to feel rejected by her again, but I also feel sad that she is gone. She was already gone though anyway, right? Everyone knew this reality but for me…
Maybe now I can bask in the satisfaction that God will never reject me. I can be glad that God has Agape love- an unconditional love that no person can possess.
As I pray to let this go today, I will cling to these verses-
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
How about you?
Do you need to let a person or situation go? Feel free to share with me your thoughts, and we can chat about healing together. :)