It was never on my horizon. I didn't know. I hadn't heard. I'd never seen someone go through a time like this, where it seemed like all their friendships were taking turns.
Essentially, in life we give things the meaning they have for us. Blue, to you, might be a sad color. To me it might be a favorite, like water in the tropics.
So with multiple friends having conflict with me over the past year, is it about me? Am I the problem? That's a perspective. And I always want to take responsibility for my impact, intended or unintended.
How am I creating the problem? I can ask. There is risk involved. Risk to what? My ego. And that's OK with me. It might be that one friend has something to share about how I impacted her, that is not pleasant. It'll hurt, yet it's OK.
Life is sad and beautiful. I am human, I am lovable, I am learning.
Other times I might learn that this person isn't someone I like anymore. We can talk. He can learn how to be more of the person he wants to be. And then? We can let go if we want to.
These are wild times. Pandemic. Racial revolution. Insanity...
What stands out as most important to me are five things:
1) People matter. Friends matter. When someone is upset with me, I want to be aware of it, listen and apologize and forgive. I also want to be forgiven.
2) I'm always learning. I wouldn't have it any other way! Divine order is happening, and conflict is part of being human. I'm not wrong or bad, and they're not either.
3) I am not weaker from this. More muscle to move through conflict is a good thing.
4) It is a dream come true to have begun studying communication and EQ as a child.
5) No matter what I've said or done that may have been hurtful, I am lovable. I love me. I like me. That's freedom!
Jessica Rios, Founder of Leaning into Light, is a lifelong letter writer, Love-based leader and eternal fan of Mr. Rogers. This deeply personal blog and our free recorded conversations are devoted to one of her greatest passions: illuminating the beauty of the human spirit.