For a few weeks in a row back in February, I had this new weekly lunch thing going on with someone that had similar spiritual interests as I, until they suddenly cancelled our fourth gathering with no explanation as to why, just as I was walking out the door to go meet them. They haven’t contacted me since and my attempt to reach out to them to reschedule never got returned either, leaving me totally frustrated and sad.
Ever since, I’ve wasted countless energies trying to figure out what went wrong. I wondered if I said something or did something that screwed it all up. I questioned if I crossed some boundary without realizing it. I speculated that they mistook my words somehow like many people often have with me. I even assumed I was probably just too intense like I’m frequently told. Basically, I plagued myself with many self-deprecating thoughts.
It’s been rather difficult for me when it comes to making lasting healthy friendships. Something I’ve learned along the way is that I often look in unhealthy places, places where I have very little in common, or places that were intended for only a short moment of my life. In this case, I believe it was the latter, as I owed this person an amends from years ago and wanted to make good on it, yet also hoped I could make a friendship out of it as well, because they were a Christian and gay, two things that I often find are hard to come by on my spiritual journey.
During our first gathering, I promptly made my amends, which was graciously accepted. The air was finally cleared leaving us to enjoy a wonderful 2-hour long conversation about God and spirituality. When I asked this person at the end of our time together how they felt about me being a friend, which I see now was self-seeking, I was surprised that they were open to meeting up again the following week.
Our next gathering didn’t feel quite as connecting though, as I noticed they were less interested in getting to know anything about my life. Yet, I still asked if they wanted to meet up again the following week when our time came to an end that day. I was surprised to hear they did and when the next gathering arrived, I spent more time watching them doodle on napkins, look at their phone, and listen to the music in the restaurant than engage me in any real conversation. I even attempted to ask for a change of venue, thinking a coffee shop might help stimulate a better connection, but they were quite content to stay right there. Honestly, a person with a healthy self-esteem would have never asked to get together again, but I allowed this character flaw of mine to do so again, which is where this story ends with me receiving that brief text message just shy of our next scheduled time to meet up and no contact from them ever since.
Ironically, as I sit here and type these words, I realize that the Universe probably only ever intended for me to meet with this person once, solely to make my amends. Unfortunately, this shortcoming of mine that deals with making friendships often causes me to be blinded to the actual truth. Looking back, I can see the traits of this character defect far more clearly now, as I was the one putting the majority of energy into it and getting very little in return out of it. Truthfully, I never really had much in common with this person other than our love for Christ and God. Sadly, I’ve done this far too often in life, stemming all the way back to my childhood when I would have been grateful to even have a single friend that liked me and wanted to spend time with me.
So, as I continue to heal and work on this character defect, I’m choosing to make a declaration to the Universe and to myself right now that I’m going to be more open to seeing the truth with those I meet in the future. To not chase after friending those who aren’t going to put in the same amount of work. To not look for friends in unhealthy places. To not make more out of an initial connection than it was ever intended to be. And to be ok with letting the Universe guide the process of bringing healthy friends into my life instead, while in the meantime, being ok spending time with the best friend I could ever have, me…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson