“Holding anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” -Buddha
This morning I came face to face with an anger like nothing I’ve ever experienced. A cold hard anger that produced a chilling energy which left me feeling sad. Thankfully this was not my own anger. I can’t imagine feeling such a black emotion from the inside out. For me, being the recipient of the anger was hard enough but I was able to walk away from that dark place. Sadly for the one holding that anger, she is stuck there.
Her anger is directed at me. I own that. Just two years ago, she was my friend, my “BookClub” friend. Any woman reading this knows what that means. But life happened and I chose to take a chance on love. That chance happened to involve the ex-husband of a mutual friend and for that, she has not forgiven me.
It’s difficult for me to reconcile this angry person with the friend I once knew. Naively, I once believed that she would understand and eventually support me. I was wrong. Her bitterness has festered for eighteen months to the point that when I said, “Hello” with a smile, her eyes glared a hatred that was tangible. She paused in that moment to let her hatred for me sink in and then she turned away.
Many times I’ve asked myself what I could have done differently. I’ve read over old emails between us trying to gain an understanding of her point of view. I’ve imagined being in her position and asked myself how I would feel. I’ve sought the counsel of friends and expressed my sorrow for how my choice impacted our little group. But after today, I finally understand that what she is holding inside has little to do with me and everything to do with her.
Although she might think that her anger is hurting me, it is quite obvious that she is the one suffering. Stuck and unable to move forward, unable to accept the changes that are part of life, unable to grow and let go, she is only hurting herself. For that, I’m sad. Every day that she holds on to her anger it is like drinking poison and hoping I will die.
For me, I will offer only compassion to her. I forgive her the hatred that she sends my way. My life is full. For that, I am so grateful. Life offered me a second chance and I took it. I have so much love surrounding me these days, like a shield it protects me and allows me to move forward with a smile and an ever-expanding heart.