Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
I suffered my first Close Encounter of the Ouch Kind, in Friend Land, during the transition years from high school to college. As time marched on, I realized the related young & dumb phase we all pass through offered the lion’s share of explanation.
Recent circumstances dredged those memories. This go round, we’re talking about one old enough to know better, to do better. And that applies to me as well. Signs popped up, the Universe trying to warn me. But those warnings dawned against a background of intense pain —— we each lost a lone parent within a 6-month period. Friendship’s blinders kidnapped me, coercing “the benefit of the doubt.” Then it happened: indisputable proof the alleged friend vomited knives in my absence, using her BFF status to validate the verbal diarrhea raping my earned reputation for integrity.
The same knife drawing blood from this back proved sharp enough for a second slice, accommodating my swift cut of all ties to the source. Devastating? Yep. Necessary? Absolutely! Darkness, as always, spotlights one’s true character. Friends elevate, always and in all ways. Fakes denigrate, exploiting absence to vilify, then smile sweetly in light. Those spewing venom in my absence have no business in my presence. I acted accordingly.
We each possess absolute control over two things only: the mind, and the mouth. When the mind insists you’re unworthy of respect, respecting others devolves into mission impossible. Self-respect follows self-discipline, the latter required to transform dreams into reality. Chasing goals leaves neither time, energy, nor inclination to futz others. Snatching pretend personal stature, through stealth hit & run attacks against the absent, forms the backstabber’s reward. Whatever is happening deep within the mind infects the heart, inevitably muscling its way to the surface — and escapes through racing lips. If it’s true eyes provide a window to the soul, it’s equally true the mouth mirrors nuggets nestled deep within the heart. One’s core always outs. Inner contentment pushes peace and joy toward those in our path; bitter inner disappointment inflicts poison’s handiwork.
Bottom-line: I screwed up. I simply did not anticipate the one I cherished as a best friend would unmask, gripping the smoking gun aimed at my back. Live. Learn.
Despite the lingering ThrillaInMeKilla sensation, I prefer the sucker punch of one’s core to serial duplicitous hugs, smiles, and kisses. Forgiveness encouraged my movement forward. But forgiveness and tolerance reside in different zip codes. I’ve never knowingly hugged a rattlesnake, and girlfriend ain’t ’bout to start now.
Call to Action
The lack of perfection in this life in no way rationalizes a lack of common decency. Do yourself a huge favor: if you must discuss one absent, speak as if the person concerned stands before you. Failure to do so reveals abject cowardice, evaporates rivers of respect, and trashes treasured trust. The ultimate self-immolation, with no do-over, simply because actions swallow words— including “sorry.”