Well I’m burping tequila mixed with grande quesadilla, so it must be ‘Ritas night! It’s a little difficult to come bumping back to earth after so much fun. Tonight I got to hang out with some of my best buds, which is perfect considering this week’s blog is all about friendship. Now mind you folks we’re going to bring it down a notch tonight, so turn the lights down, light a nice fire, and snuggle up with the one you love. Don’t forget to love yourself too, just don’t Love yourself, I mean unless you want to. You might want to wait until your done reading though. So tonight I want to say thank you to all my friends past, present, and future, (please don’t get me started on the whole, it’s all happening at the same time thing, I have tequila in me). I love you all, and I always will.
Just Because I Love You…
I have always wanted a group of close friends. You know like the kind that you see in the movies. I always wanted buds that would hang with me, stick up for me, and go to jail with me. There was always a longing for a closeness, a gap that I was never quite able to fill. I was looking for lifetime friends, no not like the television channel, I mean the kind that would be with me when I was pissing myself (wait a minute, okay check that one off the list), and gasping my last breath.
When I was sixteen I met a beautiful young woman, who we will call, Lana. Lana has done more and experienced more than any person I know. She is one of the most talented people I have ever come in contact with, and I have learned what that can do to a person. At the time, I thought Lana was the same age I was, maybe a year or two older. It took us almost twelve years to discover that she was the same age as my mother. We never knew, I guess it was never important. What was important was the way that Lana assisted me in my spiritual growth. I was sixteen and had more understanding than most adults I knew. In fact, I would say more than any of the adults I knew. It was a frustrating time for me. Leaving out for a moment the raging hormones, and factor in a complete sense that I don’t belong here (as in this planet) in any way shape or form. It wasn’t any kind of; gee I’m a teen I don’t belong, though I did have that too. This was a deeper disconnection, something that had no words or definition, only a deep and utter longing for something I could not reach, or better said, did not know how to reach. I was writing, but not understanding. I had the understanding, but not the words. I was searching, like most teens for a way to define. But I wasn’t looking for a way to define myself, really I was looking for a way to define the experiences and the understanding that I was having. People were always telling me that there was something different about me, but when asked what, there was no answer.
Lana was the first person who had an answer. I showed her some of my writing one day and she shocked me by telling me I was an old soul. This I already knew. Lana, however, was the first person to identify that within me, she was the first person to confirm and help reinforce ideas and conclusions that I had made about myself. Lana was someone I was looking for, a mentor or a guide. I needed someone to talk with, before I just simply burst. It was an actual fear that I had, I also thought that I was mentally imbalanced, or broken in some way. Here, finally, was someone I could share with, who could assist me. Turns out that I ended up assisting a lot of other people, for once it became an exchange. Lana and I started taking weekly classes from a woman that she knew. I learned more about subjects I already knew. Auras, energy, Reiki, color therapy, and a whole lot more. My writing took off, in ways I had never experienced. I didn’t know it than, but I was doing automatic writing. I just knew that I would sit down with a tablet and write, when I was done I couldn’t remember what I had written, and most of the time I was astounded by what I had written. Then I started getting messages for people in our classes. I was uncomfortable giving the messages, but at the same time I felt they were important. I never judged them, even when I went back through and spell checked them. I figured it was what it was.
After a couple years, teenage life caught up with me and a terrible break up with the boyfriend I was sure I was going to marry. I went through stints of writing, but I felt like my precious gift was lost. Lana stuck with me through everything. She was there when I needed to call at 2 am. Lana was there when I got kicked out of my house and needed a place to live. Lana was there when I was eight hundred dollars in the red after depositing my whole paycheck and when I filed a desperate bankruptcy. Lana taught me that the greatest gift you can give to another person besides love is compassion. Then Lana got a new husband, and I was ousted again. Not of Lana’s doing mind you, but of my own stupidity. I left her hanging with a three hundred dollar phone bill, why do girls always leave someone with a phone bill? After nearly seven years of friendship, we ended up not speaking for over a year.
Then I got nudged. I was working on meditation one day, and I heard someone say my name. It sounded like someone talking through a fan. There was no one else in the house at the time. There was no profound message, just my name. That was enough. I had been thinking about Lana for a couple weeks, how I needed to call, pay her back and at least give her the chance to tell me off properly for being the world’s worst friend. So I called. I paid her back. She didn’t tell me off. We started our friendship where we left off, like we never left off at all.
Fast forward another eight years. Lana moved to Texas, I moved to the armpit of the United States. For seven of those eight years we didn’t see each other. As the years past we went from calling once a week, to once a month, to once whenever we felt like the other needed to talk. I suppose it was a classic long distance friendship. Our connection was still so strong, but I started to notice some differences in her tone of voice and the way that she would present her ideas. While my life was unfolding almost faster than I could keep up with it, I could hear that Lana was exactly where she had been six years ago, or eight years ago, then sixteen years ago. Then one night about five months ago I got a phone call from Lana. To be honest, I hadn’t been calling because I could sense things were not going well with her. Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to help her, it was that she in no way wanted to help herself. Lana was looking for someone to pull her out of her funk, to hand her the magic key that would change everything for the better. Instead, things just kept getting worse. It was difficult for me to relate to anything she was saying, and most of the time I felt she just called to dump on me. This call was a little different. Somehow, I had become a target for Lana’s frustration. The conversation was a short one, only because I cut it off. By the end of it, Lana was literally screaming in my ear, about how I was living in a dream world and a host of other unpleasant things that I would prefer never to repeat. Now I realize that she was screaming out her own life frustration, but I was no longer willing to take the beating for what she was lacking in her life. In a calm voice I explained that I was unable to continue the conversation and that I was hanging up. And I did.
At this point, Lana had been in my life for literally half my life. That is a long time. I went to my friends, explained the situation and hoped for some ideas on how to handle the situation. The best one was just to not answer her phone calls anymore. I had no idea what else to do and I felt I needed a break, so that’s what I did. When Lana’s name would come across the caller id I would cross the room and take a couple deep breaths. Her voicemails, as one would suspect, got increasingly agitated. At one point she went through her full name, where she lived and her phone number, in case I forgot. Mind you she has had the same cell phone number for as long as I can remember, possible the whole time I have known her. After about two months I began to feel that the tactic of not answering was A) obviously not working and B) didn’t feel right any more. I had taken a break and I was able to regroup. I felt in my heart that the friendship was at an end. I was conflicted. How did that weigh into all of my spiritual beliefs? Was I not being compassionate enough? Was I blowing off someone that I have known and cared about for years? Was this separation? Could there really be a separation between us if we are all one? These and thousands of other questions looped through my mind, but always I came back to the same conclusion, the friendship was done.
I decided that the next time that Lana called I would answer. I knew that my intention was to explain to her that the friendship was over. I knew that I wanted to come from a place of love, not blame. It was important to me that I was clear and compassionate. Once the decision was made of course it didn’t take long for Lana to call, in fact she called the next evening. I missed the call, but called her back right away. I explained to her why I had not answered her calls and then with every ounce of compassion and love I could muster, I explained that our friendship was at an end. Lana said that she felt that, and honored my decision. Then she started to slip back into conversation mode, explaining about her current problems. I gently cut her short and explained that having come to this decision and explaining myself that it was now time for me to go. We said our goodbyes and hung up.
The darkness of the nights drive home and the silence in the car filled me. There was no feeling of anxiety, I truly believe she understood. Lana even explained at one point in our conversation that she sometimes felt envious (not her exact words) about the life I was living, and that hers was not where she wanted it to be. There was an intense feeling of relief. One thing that kept popping in my head over and over again, both when I was struggling with the decision and when I was on the phone with Lana, was a concept that I had tried to explain to and teach my mother. Simply put, just because I love you doesn’t mean you have to be in my life. I can love Lana and honor the friendship that we experienced together, but that doesn’t mean that I have to take verbal abuse or get dumped on all the time. I can love someone without them being in my space. Love transcends all the illusions of the mind. Love is eternal. And for all of you out there, once again I say, I love you. Goodnight my friends.