Michaela challenged me the other day by asking me to reflect on the ways I love others in my life. I thought this was an easy answer! Certainly, I would get a gold star on this reflection! I am a mom. I pour my love into my kids. I am not perfect but our bond is special and they know my love. I have a husband that I love so much. Together, we work hard at keeping our relationship a priority. It can be hard staying connected as we navigate life's twists and turns but I know he knows my love. I open my heart to my students; they know my love. I make time for friends and family as much as I can; they know my love.
I got this loving thing dooooown, right?!
I am really good at remembering birthdays; birthdays celebrations get me really excited. So much so that when I get up in the morning, I acknowledge the date and I say to myself- who was born today? A reason to celebrate someone I love fills me up and I am ready to deliver a birthday serenade and smile.
Well, this was a special day. My friend’s birthday. My special friend whom I love so much yet I haven’t spoken to him in 5 years. FIVE YEARS. Five years without his silly ways, creative spirit and easy way of being. I missed him but we had fallen out.
I reflected again on Michaela's question at the thought of his special day and knew she'd want me digging deeper. My thoughts screamed; what a child I am being to ignore him on his birthday! How could I cut someone out of my life whom I loved so much? Surely a 20 year friendship counts for something!
After these thoughts dropped out of my head and into my heart, I sat for a second to reflect on the ways I needed to protect my heart and energy in that moment 5 years ago because of the ways I felt disappointed by that friendship. I honored myself for taking the space I needed in a loving way and for protecting my heart how I needed to at that time. Yet now, I am stronger, wiser and ready to open the door to a new way of being within this friendship and to celebrate what we had.
I reflected on his actions that hurt me. I asked myself - what did I do to contribute to him taking those hurtful actions? Did he hold our friendship as close to his heart as I did mine? I got curious (a word we use a lot at Emaya) and, as I did, I felt a new way to love him appear. At the same time, I discovered a new way to love myself for exploring the ways I contributed to our falling out.
I picked up the phone and decided to send a happy birthday text. I wasn’t ready for a conversation. We don't need to be what we were before- how could we now that we were different people? Yet, reaching out, felt as if I was letting him know that our friendship is eternal by the act of wishing him, “Happy Birthday.” This was a nice step to repair a broken cord.
He replied with love and thanks. I moved on with my day feeling grateful for a discovery I don’t think I would have found had Michaela not urged me with one simple question. So, thank you Michaela!
Now let me ask you....how do YOU love others in your life?