Do you know this? Someone dear, a relative, or a close friend is about to head into disaster. You can literally see and feel it. But you can’t do anything but watch him suffer. I experienced this a few years ago.
My best friend, who I know for over 30 years moved from Europe to the States. After many years we got in touch again via email. He told me that he had a hard time dealing with depression and panic attacks. I also was in a state of frustration and desperation. Within one year we made it to help each other out of the dark and put each other on our feet again. We were able to build up a new perspective, and a passion for life only by sharing our stories, thoughts, and experiences. I was finally able to believe in myself again. We really got to know each other very, very well.
Then he fell in love with a woman in his neighborhood. The way this relationship started made me immediately think that she might use him. But he was so happy – finally! And I really was happy for him too. But after all his tellings the picture got clearer and clearer. She was an alcoholic and still pleased her ex-husband. He made himself dependent on her behavior and her love, excused everything, and let himself be treated like a doormat. It threw them apart. On one hand, he was so desperate about her behavior and still hoped that she might change in the direction of his wishes if only he played the role model for her. But she did not care at all. Honestly, I had already felt that when he first told me about her.
I did not tell him about my bad feelings. Since he was so blinded from all this love (which started on physical attraction and is never a good base for a relationship) I knew I mustn’t say a word. Whatever I would have said, would be judged as jealousy. And he would have turned away from me. If that had happened, he would have been alone after this relationship crashed. And I was convinced that this will happen.
But other than saying something I tried to shut my mouth unless I was asked. Then the situation got even more difficult since his girlfriend got extremely jealous of me. Now I even had to deal with listening to all the mean things she said about me and at the same time about his struggles with her and how challenging it was for him. Also, I was more and more kept as a dark secret, which hurt me to no end. I know, I just could have quit the friendship. And at times I really was close to doing so. But no, I knew that he would need me one day. And I saw it the longer the more as a THE lesson for me. Actually, there were two lessons in it:
I learned to be there for someone unconditionally without expecting anything. Just being there, watching and catching when needed. I knew that he didn’t understand how I felt. If I would have told him I would have set even more pressure on him. And I would have lost his friendship for sure, which would have made it impossible to help when things got really rough.
The second lesson I learned was, to accept and respect the path a person chooses to go. Whatever I think is right, doesn’t matter at all, since it is not my path, not my situation, not my life, and not the consequences I have to deal with.
Yes, it hurt big time, to be kept more and more underground although I helped him out of his deepest depth. But after a while, I was able to control my ego, step back and see this whole thing as one of my biggest chances to grow out of myself. And I made it. My patience and newly developed ability to not take it personally got rewarded, when it came to the separation from his girlfriend.
Letting each other walk our paths individually and becoming the net in the moment of falling into the big aha for the other one made our friendship grow even closer. Another great development is, that after learning these lessons for myself I am not dependent on my friend’s attention anymore. We are connected in a special way – and this connection has existed long before we knew about it. Something connected beneath this physical world cannot be destroyed by anything or anyone in this physical world. It was hard but I don’t want to miss it. It brought the greatest liberation.
In Love and Light!