How Great Thou Part

I have a friend who has talked about her marriage problems for the past nine years. She is not unforgiving, nor is she someone who can’t let things go.

She is in fact, overly-forgiving and let too much go and thus, ended up in a bad situation because of that. She is not weak. She is strong. She is so caring that she has an overwhelming attachment to the husband that she loves and is not able to let go of him completely.

I have always recognized her for exactly who she is. It is her kindness and her huge heart that ultimately destroyed her. It is as my marriage counselor would put it, ‘that her greatest strength became her greatest weakness.’

Pain exaggerates people, especially the pain of loss. All that we can hope is that there will be those that continue to recognize us through our good and our bad.

My friend will encounter those like me who never fail to recognize her and others who will judge her. I too, have amazing friends who remarkably see how my current negative qualities evolved from the better part of me. I also know what it is to be judged.

I sit with a friend recently. She tells me that a few women think that I hold onto things. Well, of course, just as in the aforementioned example of my other friend, for all intense purposes it may have looked that way these past years.

I couldn’t believe the freedom that I felt when she spoke those words.

“I don’t care,” I respond.

“You have to care,” she says.

“No, I do not. If that is what they think of me, they never knew me or had the ability to see me for who I truly am in the first place,” I say.

The old me, just a few months ago, would have internalized this. The new me – the one with emotional clarity had a totally different reaction.

Question One to myself – Are these women friends of mine? Do I hang out with them?
The Answer – No

Question Two to myself – If these women are not close friends what are they?
The Answer – They are acquaintances.

Question Three to myself – Have these acquaintances dropped me an e-mail, sent me a text, sent me a card, stopped me in the grocery store during this nearly three year divorce?
The Answer – No

Question Four to myself – If we aren’t close, why are they talking about me?
The Answer – If people that you are not hanging around with are talking about you, it’s called gossip. If acquaintances are judging you in one of the worst periods of your life – it’s called unkind.

Question Five to myself – Should I listen to a few opinionated women or to a marriage counselor who is a Psychologist about who I truly am?
The Answer – A marriage counselor told me I am an enabler, an overly caring person who put up with bad behavior again and again. He told me that I am a pleaser and a fixer. He told me that my greatest strength (being so caring) became my greatest weakness. He told me that this led me to a point of frustration, of over-talking and of personally being used up.

Remarkable isn’t it? That a few people who haven’t been to counseling and done the hard and painful work of self-discovery believe they know me better than a trained marriage counselor and psychologist.

A clue that one is being judged harshly? It is that a grown adult would tell you your faults to begin with while sitting across from you and having ones of their own.

The great thing about healing is that it allows the emotional distance to provide clarity.

To see what is healthy to receive and what is unhealthy to receive.

Do not waste time trying to be heard. Do not waste time trying to convince the friends who lost sight of you in adversity.


Hold onto the friends who never failed to hear you or recognize you. The ones who not only stood continually by your side, but who loudly reminded you of who you truly are until you remembered again.

The reality is that not every person in your life is going to be confident, mature and kind enough to allow you your mistakes.

I never had the ability to stop caring. I never had the ability to walk away from anyone that I loved.

I do now.

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)
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