My older sister, Chloe Wilson is one of the most poised, intelligent, and thoughtful people I have ever met. Her commitment to service and unwavering compassion shine though all she does. I’m sure I will write a blog post about her and how incredible of a sister she has been to me despite me going through angry, spiteful, rude, and cruel phases where I pushed her away. But today I want to focus on a blog post she actually wrote that resonated strongly with me called “White Flag.” Read it here.
Basically, Chloe went through a time where she lost friendships that she cared about deeply. Although her and I are extremely different people, we both share the same quality in that we refuse to give up on the ones we love. We commit ourselves 150% to every relationship we have. We put our loved one’s needs before our own and are willing to drop everything for them. Unfortunately, we both quickly found this to be a blessing and a curse.
Although we form deep and meaningful friendships, they sometimes turn into one-sided relationships. Our unwavering and unconditional love for those we care about is frequently not reciprocated. That’s not to say that other people do not care or that the friendships we value are with bad people, no. It’s just that our level of compassion and generosity goes beyond comprehension. Call it our biggest weakness.
Chloe writes about finally letting go. Her and I both try so hard to save everybody and repair every single thing that is broken. However, at a certain point, one needs to simply move on. Some people do not want to be fixed. As hard as that fact is to accept, it is the only way we can move on.
I’ve struggled with this concept countless times already in my life. I was in relationship for over two years where I was extremely happy. I refused to “give up” on this boy. I battled for two years trying to decide what was right for me, for him, and for our relationship. Although he did not love me the same way I loved him, I wanted him to succeed and be happy no matter what. I allowed myself to be beaten down verbally and made to feel small. All in the name of “saving” him. It finally came to a point where it was too much for me to physically handle and with the strong encouragement from my loved ones and family, I ended the relationship. It destroyed me because at the time, I was blind to how unhealthy the relationship was and I only wanted him to be happy – regardless of the personal cost. All I cared about was taking care of him and my decisions to end things went against every fiber of my being. Looking back now, I see that it was the best decision for both of us, not just me. We have both flourished since into much better people. I’ve seen him grow in ways I never imagined possible and head off to college and follow his passions. This decision allowed us to both move on and focus on ourselves and I genuinely wish him the best.
That was the first time I had to let go. I wanted to stay and fight and save him. But at what cost? At some point, we must take care of ourselves.
I’ve had another experience recently when somebody I considered my sister and have devoted endless hours, tears, and prayers to told me that she could no longer be friends with me. Devastated, shocked, and confused, I wanted to fight for our relationship as I had so many times in the past. We had both pushed each other away before and gone through so many struggles together. We’ve seen each other at our highest highs and lowest lows. We’ve cried together, peed our pants laughing together, struggled together, and loved together. Through death, divorce, unemployment, illness, everything – we experienced it together. We never gave up on our relationship. Even when we did not talk to each other for almost two years, we still found our way back to each other eventually. Our bond transcended time. Unfortunately there were many times that I had to fight to keep our relationship together and it became a one-sided battle.
When is it too much? When do I need to give up? How could I do that after twelve years of friendship? These questions bombarded me incessantly. But then I realized – I am exhausted. I’m tired of a one-way friendship. I’m fatigued from being the only one fighting for this to work. If somebody would be willing to give up twelve years of a friendship I considered sacred, they obviously do not feel the same way. This truth was almost too much to bear – that my love for her was not as strong as her love for me. How could that be? The answer to that question doesn’t matter because the fact is that it just is that way. No matter how hard I could fight, she would feel the same. It was time for me to “wave the white flag.” I will forever keep her in my prayers and wish the best for her. I wish I could be there for her. But you have to understand that sometimes people don’t want you in their life and you must accept that.
Acknowledging this truth has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with. I find comfort in the Bible verse Chloe used in her post. Psalms 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” I could lean on my own understanding at try to dissect every text, phone call, and exchange between us to try to find reason as to why she would throw away our friendship so easily. But my efforts would be futile. I must lean on something greater than myself to survive this difficult time. I must trust that she made this decision for herself – for her own happiness. I need to trust that God put her in my life for a reason, even if it is to painful to understand what that reason is now. I need to trust that God took her out of my life for a reason too. Maybe she will be happier. Maybe I will be happier. Maybe our souls really are connected like I’ve always believed and eventually we will find our way back to each other again. But for now, I don’t need answers – I need to find peace in God’s plan for me.
And finally, I need to celebrate those friendships that God has put into my life to make me a better person and fill me with joy. Because although some friendships come and go, there will be people who forever leave a footprint on your heart – impacting your life in ways you never imagined. There are people do reciprocate the love I have for them. I need to cherish and nurture those relationships and ignore those that are not actively lifting me up. I need to refocus my mind on the positive.
All I can do is pray for her happiness. I’ll do that every day until I die.