It had been a long, hard few weeks. I hadn’t really admitted to myself how difficult life had become and how trapped I was feeling. It happened so slowly that I didn’t recognize the signs and the shifts. The walls of my world were contracting and cracking, preparing to bury me under their weight. All while I was busy shoring up the walls of those around me. Completely oblivious to what was happening to my own house. Admittedly, I had small glimpses of the impending destruction, but I managed to successfully minimize my own distress. “I’m just tired. I’m fighting this nasty cold,” I told myself over and over again. Denial is great; for a while.
Thankfully, I have a friend that isn’t afraid to tell me the truth. Even when it’s not what I want to hear. Even when I try to deflect and change the subject. Even when I deny her observations. My friend knows me well enough and loves me enough to push through my resistance and offer me the whole, honest truth. In the most loving and supportive way possible she gave me permission to stop and acknowledge that all was not right in my world. Permission to admit I was running myself into the ground. Validation that I deserve more for myself than what I’d been allotting. She saw behind the face I put on for the world & recognized the truth of my present reality.
When I finally allowed her words to penetrate the wall I had built around my denial, I was overwhelmed with the strangest emotion. Not fear, not anger, not sadness, but relief. Relief that someone saw. Relief that what I feared was selfishness was something else entirely – a desperate need for rest. Actually, not only rest, but a reevaluation of my current trajectory & a course correction.
Along with the truth, came an offer of her unmitigated support. And an assignment, that just happened to be the same one I had given her a few months ago. Funny how our words can come back to haunt us. Or in this case, remind us of the importance of not just having a truth telling friend, but being one as well.