Lying, Cheating & Being a …..

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My commentator is baaaack!  It’s been a while.  The latest “comment” or rather, rant, was with regards to the letter I wrote to a once close friend though I’m not sure what the comment had to do with what I’d written.  In that particular blog a couple weeks ago, I was talking about how taking offense happens and how the decision to forgive isn’t an easy one.  Apparently, I hit a chord in the commentator and this person couldn’t help but set up yet another bogus email address so they could spout off about those things with which there is no basis.  The comment, “Jackie Young” at YoungJ12345@yahoo.com left said, “Always the victim.  The common denominator in all your issues is you (ummmm … well, I am writing from my own first person experiences, so yes, I would be the common denominator within those particular issues I choose to write about.).  But you will never admit this because you are too wrapped up in making everything someone else’s fault and never accepting you might be the one responsible.  There is a reason you do not have friends (So, actually, I do, though I’m very, very, particular and dare I say, cautious, about who is in my tribe … a group of salty cowgirl types that share my language!).  People can only handle someone who is a liar, and a cheater and, well, a bitch, for so long (Agreed, though you must be mistaking me for someone else you “know”?).”

I have PG responses and then there are the R rated responses.  That fighting side of me laughs an evil laugh that says, “You poor, fool!  You have no idea the fire you are playing with.”

The other side of me says, “You poor, soul … so tangled up in your own unfinished business that your defenses and pre-programmed way of operating is clouding your vision as you overlay your own “stuff” onto me.” 

We all have two sides to us.  The side we want everyone else to see (think social media – puke) and the “dark side”, our underbelly, that we don’t want anyone to see!  I shared the letter I’d written, not to play the victim or to blame someone else for anything.  I shared that letter as a way of helping myself get more clear around something I’ve had little to no closure around.  You see, every time I see that person out “checking” their cattle on our property, what rises up in me is ugly!  It feels like an invasion of my space when the person willing to write me off feels that it is in some way, shape or form, appropriate to be on our property!  There is no lease agreement (that I know of), no payment for grazing fees (that I am aware of), nothing that gives them any sort of right to be here other than, their cattle have yet to be moved off our land, period.  As a high Introvert, I have tendencies toward being territorial and the idea that another person who’s chosen to hurt my heart, is brazen enough to rub my nose in that, is something that gets my blood boiling!  I don’t like feeling that way and as a believer, I am called to so very much more which includes, forgiveness.

So, as I asked that taunting side of my underbelly to go take a nap, I laughed to myself knowing that once again, the commentator is desperately attempting to hurt me the way they hurt.  I considered my options.  What’s so amazing about the work I do with the horses and clients is the borrowed benefit.  I learn so much about myself as clients sort through their own personal work!  This is what makes group work really powerful!  The borrowed benefit for everyone can be life changing.  I am a student of the Bible and I know that there is a lesson in this that God is sharing with me so long as I have ears to hear.  And so, I thought about what I wanted to do with “The Comment” and how was I going to choose to handle it.

To call someone names whom you don’t know personally and intimately is childish at best.  I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am not a liar.  As a matter of fact, I can’t lie to save myself.  Tried it on a time or two as a kid, there were, shall we say, “repercussions” and bottom line, I HATE being in trouble!  Not all of us have the same talents, right!?!  Lol!  I also know, I am not a cheater.  I have had ample opportunity over the years to cheat in numerous areas of life and for me, cheating requires lying which I’ve already shared, I’m terrible at, so cheating has never fit.  Now, am I a bitch?  I suppose that depends upon your definition of what that is to you.  We all define things differently and so though there are generalized ideas around what it means to be this type of person, the root of how the commentator defines this may be different from how I define it.

Here’s what I can say, I hold hard and fast to the boundaries I have set and for the most part, I am unwavering when it comes to this.  Some might say that makes me a bitch.  Once I’ve had my heart bruised up and broken over and over and over again by an individual, I write them off.  As in, I’m done, period.  That may make me a bitch to some.  I will speak directly and in a direct manner.  I have no use for beating around the bush or sugar coating things and so in my daily dealings, I will interact with others in the same way I appreciate them interacting with me.  People in general, tend to prefer someone who communicates their truths gingerly, cautiously and sugary. After all, we don’t want to upset anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings.  In my world, speaking the truth is showing love.  Being honest and sharing what’s coming up for me is a way of showing love and respect for others.  If I speak intending on hurting someone, then I need to get myself in check, however if speaking what’s true for me unintentionally hurts someone else, that is their responsibility for how they are feeling, not mine.  And yes, that may make me a bitch in people’s eyes.  Life is short and I choose to move through it with deep gratitude, joy and peace and I make no bones about where I stand.

Until a person begins to look at their own, personal unfinished business (those things from their past that come up and taint the way they see and experience the world) they will overlay that “stuff” onto others in their dealings and interactions.  We are the sum total of our experiences in our lives and how we react to current experiences can be shaped and clouded by things in our past that have required some sort of defense and strategy to step in to “protect” us.  Until this is brought into our awareness, we continue running amuck attacking others and spewing our venom all over the place, often times wondering why we’ve acted a certain way, again.  I encourage you, I encourage the commentator, to get quiet with yourself, feel into those emotions that come up for you regularly and ask yourself, “Where is this rooted?  Where do I feel this in my body?”  The answer may surprise you.  And, if your curiosity so inclines you to do more investigating, head over to my website to learn a bit more about what the horses and I do.

http://untetheredhearts.com/

“YOU are powerful, beautiful, brilliant & brave” ❤

Offense & Bruised Hearts

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Offense and forgiveness seem to go hand in hand.  I’ve never been one to take offense very easily.  I tend to be pretty thick skinned and if for nothing else, I see the good in others almost to a fault (at least in the world’s eyes).  There’s this naive side of me that chooses to believe the best, to forgive and forget each time the opportunity to take offense arises.  I would venture to guess it’s one set of characteristics that allowed me to stay in an abusive relationship for sooooo many years.

I’ve learned that there is something about not being heard, truly listened to and heard, that over time begins to accumulate.  It begins to build up and resentment threatens to take over.  In that space, anger and unforgiveness also threaten to step in.  I am in a space of learning to forgive souls that I once held precious in my life, who cut me deep.  Individuals that I pray for each day.

The following is a letter I wrote to one of them this past August, in hopes of sharing my truth, from my heart and being heard:

 
My Once Close Friend,

I don’t believe that we’ll sit down and have a heart to heart any time soon.  Maybe it’s better this way so you can read my words a few times instead of, if you’re like me, trying to replay a conversation in your head.  It’s hard for me to express myself clearly, verbally. Words get all jumbled up or worse yet, I simply cannot find the right words to what I’m thinking and feeling.  Maybe that’s part of why I stay quiet and to myself. I am far better versed on paper. I process through writing, I think as I write and I’m better able to express myself wholly and completely on paper.

I felt utterly blindsided when, after texting you to find out why you switched drivers in our driveway without so much as a wave hello, you told me you’d been upset with me for over a year!  A year … let that sink in. A whole year! You said that I’d given you the cold shoulder when we all went out for supper together one evening and you were pissed about it. I explained that I couldn’t remember us all going to supper much less any of the interactions of that particular evening.  I apologized to you and then replayed every interaction we’d had between the alleged incident and the present moment. Every ride we’d shared together, every puppy play date, events like the Parade of Lights and The American, you name it, I was replaying them all backwards, forwards, sideways and every direction imaginable for several days after our initial contact.  I wanted to figure out how it was possible that someone such as myself that tends to be so sensitive to the energy around me could have missed something like this. I felt like an ass knowing that I’d been going along as if nothing was wrong when in reality everyone around me knew something was wrong … except me! How was it possible that I’d said or done something to upset you enough that you held onto it for over a year!?!

Feeling as though I’d exhausted my memory, I stood in the doorway in tears days later as I realized that no matter how much I abused my brain and tried to remember something I was totally unaware had happened, I couldn’t and even if I could remember the incident, there wasn’t a damn thing I could do to change it all this time later.  I went to bed that night feeling as defeated and shitty as a person can and I can’t help but ponder if that isn’t exactly where you wanted me …

The next day as I went about my morning routine, the phone rang.  My person was upset that I’d spent several days beating the shit out of myself and wanted to share what he recalled.  As I listened, I began to remember most everything. That nudge, that little jog in my memory brought things back clearly or as clearly as is possible after this much time has lapsed.  One of the last things you texted me was, “Don’t quit on this friendship.” The thing is, I already had … the day I quit was the day you claim I gave you the cold shoulder. You see, you’d repeatedly rejected me and hurt my heart and though I don’t remember the evening well, what I do remember is that I’d tapped out.  After calling you out many times and telling myself, “I’m out. I quit. I’ve had enough.” I finally meant it. This particular time, instead of calling you out, I decided I would save face and keep the peace. Not my way of going about things however I didn’t want to cause a rift between my person and yours. I’d learned that honesty isn’t taken at face value rather it’s spun up into blow ups and fighting as was the case when I was honest with our neighbor.  What I learned in that instance was that within this group, talking shit behind everyone’s backs was perfectly acceptable. Being honest, forthright and speaking my truth wasn’t. You see, I said everything everyone else whispered behind her back however when the rubber met the road, I was the roadkill. Note to self, keep your trap shut and so I did just that. To keep the peace that evening at supper, I was cordial, I was polite, I wasn’t rude, nasty and I sure as hell didn’t call you out like I could have.  I wasn’t overly friendly either and if that was interpreted as giving you the cold shoulder then yes, that is exactly what I did.

When you came over to the house, you said you wanted everything to go back to the way it was.  How exactly was that? Me regularly being shut down, rejected and used? I’m out. That’s not even remotely my definition of friendship.  It takes two for a relationship to be successful and I simply won’t do all the heavy lifting anymore. It’s exhausting.

What I thought you knew about me, though maybe you don’t, is that when I bolted out of my marriage, that split second decision completely changed the trajectory of my life.  I lost the family unit I’d fought so hard to keep pieced together, I lost the home I’d made, I lost all of my material possessions, I lost just about everything including my friends.  My friends, including my best friend and confidant of 15+ years scattered in the prairie breeze as that bomb detonated. People that I believed knew me, were the very people on his witness list, taking the stand and blatantly spewing well rehearsed lies under oath.  I quickly buttoned myself up tight. I became leery of everyone I came into contact with and trusted no one. When I needed my friends the most, there were none. 

When I met you and your now sister-in-law, I allowed my guard to come down a little.  My person knew you and considered you more friend than foe and I trusted his judgement.  I tried to be what I thought a good friend was. I’d check in on you when I hadn’t heard from you, I’d invite you to go ride, go camping, meet me for lunch or drinks, I offered feedback when the ex-partner of your partner was too much to deal with, held your drunk head while you sobbed, dropped everything to rush to your side when your sweet four legged companion died, I even ran a small gift over to your house when your baby was leaving for college, knowing how hard that must have been for you hoping that the small gesture would soothe your aching heart.  I thought what I was offering was what friendship is supposed to be. Slowly though I began to realize that it was quite possible, I had been trying over the years to be friends with someone who didn’t want my friendship. Why else would you say one thing and do another, repeatedly?

And so, I tapped out.  I figured you’d reach out if I was wrong.  You didn’t and so I buttoned myself back up.  I sat on the edge of the picnic table outside the reception hall at your wedding during the ceremony, meat thermometer in one hand, greasy paper towel in the other feeling as lonely as I have in a really, really long time.  Checking chicken, putting the done pieces in a pan, I imagined what a spectacle I must be, pretty white paisley dress, heels and hair all done up standing in the billowing smoke of the Traeger instead of where I had once assumed I’d be, standing alongside you as you said your vows.    

As badly as I would love to have friends here, I’m damn good at doing my own thing and being alone.  I entertain myself for the most part and keep busy doing the things that need done around here. I’d take that over regular rejection and heartache any day.  I don’t know where things go from here. My person encouraged me to send this in hopes that if nothing else, it eases the hurt in my heart. He’s a smart, intuitive man and so I’m following his advice.  If I don’t talk to you again, I wish you the best of luck in your new adventures.   

Jessica

Forgiveness is a work in progress for me.  I don’t want to forgive so much because I feel I should, as I want to be free of the offense, the hurt feelings, that I have been carrying for well over 6 months now.  I want to quench the anger and resentment I feel each time I see or hear about those I once counted as close friends.  And so, I will continue to pray for my enemies, not in hopes that friendships will ever be reconciled, rather because believing for blessings in someone’s life who’s bruised up your heart, takes far more strength and courage and results in far greater personal growth, than holding onto the hurt and pain.

What hurt and pain are you holding onto?  We are all works in progress and the horses and I are here to support you as you navigate your own personal path, forgiving others and healing.

“You are powerful, beautiful, brilliant & brave”  ❤