Happy New Year to you! I know I am probably a week late but I guess better late than never. As this is my first post of the year, I thought I would start with a topic which is important and quite heavy. It seems most times when we talk about being hurt, betrayal and heartbreak it is usually associated with romantic relationships. I have realised, at least from my experience, we rarely talk about when friends hurt us. When they do something that betrays our trust or say something that affects our confidence.
I believe friendship is one of the most important relationships we can ever encounter. Before people become spouses, they have to be friends first. Friendship involve interdependence and voluntary participation and it is a crucial and the most primal stage of any relationship. It sets the tone to every relationship and it is very good for our mental health. It is one of the few relationships we do not hold back and give our heart fully without much hesitation or caution as we do with a romantic relationship. It is a haven where you can bare your soul without fear of judgement.
However, what is one to do when your friend, who you completely trust and rely on, hurts you? I am talking about someone (not romantically linked to) you love like a brother/sister and consider family, does something detrimental you feel lost. When the person you always confide in, is the one who causes the pain. Who do you tell and how do you get through it? I am one of the people who subscribes to addressing my issue and talking it through, but what happens if you can not bring yourself to trust or rely on the person as before? Do you swallow your feelings and move on or do you walk away and make yourself believe that maybe it was a seasonal friendship?
I went through this a few months back and I felt displaced and alone. I am still working my way through and I am still healing. It made me realise that most times we do not know how to feel or react when a friend hurts us because it is something we never expect or see coming. As someone who has been through it, I thought I would share a couple of things I have learnt.
1. Admit you are hurt.
Admitting how you truly feel will help you talk things through and work it out with your friend. Holding things in will open doors to bitterness, anger and there will be no trust. Always remember that your feelings matter and do not act out of anger but clearly state how they made you feel and how detrimental it is/was.
“He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3
2. Healing is not a straight line.
Healing does not happen overnight. It takes time and patience. For some people it is easy to shake things off and never thing about them again, but for some it takes time. There will be days when you will feel everything is alright and there are other days when you are angry and can not seem to forget about it. The Bible tells us to not let the sun set when you are angry, but what happens when you can not seem to get out of that funk?
” Heal me O’Lord and I shall be healed, save me O’Lord and I shall be saved, for You are the one I praise”- Jeremiah 17:14.
3. Pray and rely on God.
I know this might sound cliche, but this has helped me immensely. I realise that before anyone, God is our first friend and He has great and unfathomable plans for me. I realise you can rely on people- family, friends etc to an extent, but always remember God will never let you down. Read the Bible, find Bible plans on heartbreak, anger or whichever emotion you might be experiencing. I used the YouVersion Bible app, wrote down how I felt in my journal and prayed to let go.
” So do not be afraid for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. “- Isaiah 41:10.
Friendship like another relationship, thrives on forgiveness. Forgiveness sets us free from many things and unforgivingness hinders our blessings and breakthroughs. Forgive for yourself and when you do, make sure you have left it in God’s hands.
” Be kind to one another, tenderhearted and forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave us.”- Mark 11:25
5. Assess your friendship.
It is very essential to have friends who are not quick to dismiss you or make you feel as if you take things too seriously. It is good to have friends who understand that different things affect us and some are deeply rooted issues or childhood traumas. You do not necessarily need to force yourself and jump back to how things were but make sure you work to make things better.
” Do not be misled, bad company corrupts character.”- 1 Corinthians 15:33.
6. Be in charge of your feelings.
At times we tend to give into our feelings too much. Not to say it is wrong to listen to your feelings, but at times it could be we have been triggered by what others/our friends have said or done. We all have childhood traumas and issues we might be/ not aware of. At times we might not be aware that we have been triggered and we end up not being able to separate our feeling and our trauma. Though both are easily tied together, it is important to know how to separate the two. Some people go to therapy, which I highly recommend but for those who can not afford, write your feelings down and try and understand the root of them and how you can grow from it.
” The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick: who can understand it.”- Jeremiah 17:9.
7. You are blessed.
In all that happens in life, always remember that you are important and you matter. There are moments when what people say or do will demoralise you to think/feel like you are not good enough, always remember that you are blessed. There is a reason you are on this earth and it means God is not done with you yet.
” The Lord bless you and keep you, may He make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.”- Numbers 6:24-25.