Do you ever feel better after you find out some bad news? There's been some drama among a group of friends of mine, hurt feelings and lashing out on several sides. It's been on my mind all week and I've been worried about everyone involved. I didn't think I was very involved in the situation, but I found out that there's been some harsh talk about me going around. I was a little surprised with myself with my reaction. I wasn't surprised and it didn't really bother me as much as I thought it would. A couple years ago I would have been crushed and become obsessed with wanting to know every detail and intent on fixing it all. But I've come to a rather zen conclusion about it: it's not really about me, I am just an easy target in this situation. And that's okay with me. I can understand why people may take issue with certain parts of my personality and demeanor, despite my intentions being different from perception. But it's who I am, and I know I am not doing these things in a malicious way, intending to cause harm. I am okay with how I've chosen to present myself and my opinions, and if someone else has taken offense and chooses not to address it directly with me, that's on them. I would welcome that conversation, but I am not going to seek it out either, because again, I don't think it's truly about me.
I felt more settled after I heard about it. I hadn't been sure of where I stood with certain people, what they thought of me, how they perceived me, and I had been conflicted over how to approach them. But with this information, I know better where I stand and what would or would not be helpful. That gave me an enormous sense of peace. I realized my gut had been telling me to hold back for a reason, and I was so grateful I listened to it. I know that the person(s) involved are in a really hurt place right now. They are not lashing out from a whole, healthy place. If hating on me is helping them get through it, I am willing to take it. If I can't help by being a friend, I'm willing to help by being a target. I am a big girl and can handle it. I feel confident in who I am and what I've said or done, regardless of what may be said. Someone else's opinion isn't going to change that or my relationship/standing with my Heavenly Father. My family and friends who truly know me, still love and stand by me.
At the moment, the harsh words are staying fairly private and I'm not being condemned in the general public. As long as things stay that way, I'm okay with it. If things change and harassment or libel ensues, then my tune will change. But I don't anticipate that so for now, I'm fine. I won't say it doesn't hurt, it totally does! I thought we were close friends and there was mutual affection. I don't like the idea of someone feeling that harshly towards me or saying harsh things about me. I wish it weren't happening.
And I am totally cognizant that this post merely existing seems at odds with the ideas I've explored here. For repeatedly saying "this isn't about me", this post contains an awful lot of "me" and "I". But this is my blog, where I talk about my experiences. So while I believe the harsh stuff going on isn't truly about me, my tangential experience is. I also am aware that I mentioned how I wish those who dislike me would have approached me directly rather than lashing out behind my back, and this post seems to be doing the same thing. I don't know that I have a strong answer for that. I do believe that intention makes a difference. My purpose in this post is just to explore my own feelings, I haven't condemned anyone's character, I've tried not to make any value judgements, and I'm trying to keep the focus on my perception and my reaction. I imagine what's being said about me is being said in a venting tone and not truly intended to harm me. I am sure it wasn't intended to ever come to my knowledge (and I don't have any specifics, just know that it's going on). The reason I am not approaching the person(s) directly is because I don't believe it will help anything and I'm only interested in exploring it with them, if it will truly help rebuild our relationship. I don't know that they are interested in doing that right now; which is probably why they haven't approached me and that's okay with me too. I wish it was different, but considering where I imagine they are coming from, I can see why it's playing out the way it is.
The whole situation, from the initial fight between other people, to hearing about the talk about me, has brought up some really complex questions for me. When do you let someone vent and when do you try to stand up for what they are railing against? How do you make the decision about whether it is helpful or not? How do you validate someone's feelings and be supportive when you don't agree with what they are saying? Is it ever okay to give out information that was given in confidence? Where is the line between letting someone vent about another person, giving information, and gossiping? Is there even a line? Does intention matter? I don't really have any good answers for any of these.
All in all, I am at peace with the whole thing, or at least my part in it. I am hurting for myself and my friends, but I am not angry or lashing out because of it. My hope and prayer is that with time, all parties are able to reach out and rebuild the relationships and trust. I'm not sure if this is just part of the normal ebb and flow of relationships or if this will end up changing our lives forever and the friendships will never come back. I just know that I am going to just wait and see. I have my dream of how to it will turn out, but it's not up to me. It's up to others and I wish them peace, comfort, and love on their journeys.