Anytime a girlfriend or I find ourselves in a sticky situation where we’re not making the best decisions (let’s face it, it’s usually with guys) I always like to stop and say “if you were watching Kate Hudson go through this in a movie, what would you think? What would you want her to do?” It will quickly put things in perspective and sometimes make you realize you’re making a fool of yourself! If you wouldn’t want Kate putting up with that jack ass anymore, why are you?
However, this I know well – it’s quite easy to say something and it’s quite easy to think something. What isn’t easy is the ability or willingness to actually get off your booty and do that something.
For various reasons: travel, work, etc. I hadn’t been to church for awhile until last weekend. So as I was working on some projects last week I fired up the podcast for the sermons I missed. One of the sermons was highly applicable to a situation in which I recently found myself; it was entitled “Actions Reveal (Not Intentions)”. And oddly enough, not two hours later someone quoted the well-known Emerson phrase to me, “your actions speak so loudly, I can’t hear what you are saying.” This is actually something I’ve thought about a LOT lately when it comes to my dating choices. I’ve found myself in the habit of being drawn to guys who say they’re looking for the same things I am, but when it comes down to it, they’re not. This seems to be an epidemic in dating; I know I am not the only woman who has suffered because of it. It’s made me much more strategic when it comes to whom I say yes, that’s for sure! But as often as I’ve thought about “actions speak louder than words” when it comes to silly boys, I’ve never really had to think about it when it comes to my friends.
I haven’t lost a lot of major friendships in my lifetime, for which I’m quite grateful. Have I had relationships strained by time or distance or just because of well, life? Of course. That’s natural. But rarely, if ever, have I been in a friendship that has ended because of any sort of unfortunate incident.
As very well documented on this blog, I have put forth tremendous effort over the past year on working on myself. Who I am. Who I want to be. Ridding bad habits and developing new ones. All this work I’ve done, however, had yet to be tested by anyone other than the voices in my head until a few weeks ago. I had a friend who unintentionally (or so I believe) put me in a very uncomfortable and awkward situation in which I was going have to lie – by omission – to another individual. We’re not talking a little white lie. We’re talking a huge, red, your pants are engulfed lie. I just couldn’t do it. I loved this friend, quite dearly. Our friendship was very special, it meant a lot to me over the past five years and helped me through some really difficult periods. So the decision wasn’t an easy one. I could have SAID anything I wanted to my friend or even to myself; I could have completely justified going along with the lie just to save my friendship. I could have told myself it wasn’t my life so what did it really matter, I get to go home, leave this all a million miles away and even pretend like it never happened. But instead, I spoke up and expressed my feelings. And I walked away. As my pastor said, it’s your actions that reveal your true character, not you intentions.
Taking the actions I did cost me a friend. Although I am sad about this, I don’t regret it. No one should have friends in their lives who expect them to lie, cheat or steal on their behalf for any reason. That’s not what friendship is about. Don’t compromise who you are to make someone else happy or save their ass. This world is filled with many, many wonderful people who are great friends and lovers. I’m sad I had to lose someone in the process of really figuring this out, but I’ve learned staying true to and the relationship we have with ourselves is much more important.