Lately I have been reflecting, looking at from where I’ve come, where I am now, and where I want to be in the future. Not surprisingly, I recently celebrated another birthday, an opportune time for reflection, but this year was a little bit different because a short time before my birthday I received some disturbing news. This news should not have been disturbing, as it’s something I suspected, but because I allowed myself to deflect from the situation, I consequently never dealt with the issues head on.
So like I normally do, I searched myself first to discover why this information upset me and I admitted to myself that I was upset because the other parties in this situation did not handle it the way I would have. Sounds selfish, however the way I would have handled it (and had been handling it until confronted) was in a way that honored each person involved, meaning I didn’t make any disparaging remarks and whenever someone attempted to make a negative remark, I would rephrase it and make the circumstances appear more positive than they were. This is typically how I deal. Very rarely do I play the role of victim in an attempt to make others look bad. I also see the glass as half full and if I am involved in something that includes people I care about, even when they have done something wrong; I do my best to put a positive spin because I know that everything is cyclical and if I was ever confronted with a similar situation or by one of the parties; I don’t want them to have the ability to say I was involved in feeding any negativity about them.
I feel like I’m rambling and I hope this make sense.
The bottom line is that when relationships go south and dissipate and it involves people I truly care about, even if we parted ways on a bad note; I refuse to say anything negative or entertain any negative comments made about these people, especially if they are not around to defend themselves or give their points of view. To me, that honors the time we were on good terms with one another. Handling situations as such feeds the integrity of the good times that were had. It also leaves the door open to reconnect and repair should paths cross again, given the cyclical nature of life.
So it hurt me when I found out that not only were negative remarks about me entertained by those I once held a close relationship with, but the remarks given were not even true. Lord knows I have not always handled situations the best or responded in a way that honored the relationship, so for me to grow to this point is a gigantic step forward in my becoming a better version of Shanika. However, my opinion of these people was so high that it threw me for a loop that they would outright lie on me. Sounds naive, I know.
Fast forward several days and I am blessed to see another birthday, which resulted in an outpouring of love. Through several birthday messages I received, I was able to see how far I have come and I was able to again reflect on what it means to be a friend and I became even more thankful for my relationships that have stood the test of time, distance, and disagreements. These relationships were able to withstand because we never hit below the belt, even during the worst arguments~arguments that often led to lapses in time when we would communicate with one another. Thankfully we were able to see that any hurtful remarks made or actions taken were a reflection of what the offender was going through or where he/she was at that point in their journey. It was never about the person/people that received the lashing. No one is perfect, however I am eternally grateful for those people who have always accepted me for me, forgiven me for my infractions, and valued our relationship enough not to allow it to be destroyed by negativity, lies and/or rumors.
In moving forward, I hope to continue to get better with how I treat those I call friend. I pray for forgiveness from and healing for anyone I’ve hurt. And I pray for continued growth of the relationships I have with friends who have proven to be true. I am definitely honored to have you as such.