I caught myself pursing my lips while on the phone with an old friend. I finally brought up why I was pissed, it was about the forty bucks she owed me from a few years back. The air between us got awkward.
More than three decades ago I declared I would never again ‘lend’ money unless I was truly okay with never getting it back, no matter what the amount. I liked that marker. That way I would not give away what I couldn’t afford to lose, I would not be disappointed if I never got it back and I’d be pleasantly surprised and appreciative if I did.
That system has worked really well for me. So why now, did I find myself pursing my lips over a measly forty bucks? My tone changed on the phone as we talked. She is someone I feel great fondness toward but some button was definitely being pushed. So if it wasn’t about the money then what was it?
Why suddenly was in having an internal attitude?
My six steps that helped me figure it out:
First success: I noticed I’m defensive because my body is reacting! This is progress! My body is giving me a big clue…I’m pursing my lips and my tone is not warm and when I check into my heart center…yep, it ain’t open.
Second clue: What’s are the feelings I don’t like feeling? It’s not the money I care about so what is it? I noticed my emotional feelings as I listen to her “side of the story.” I feel hurt, not appreciated, taken for granted and not valued. Just because of the money? It didn’t make sense, but then emotions are emotions, they don’t live in the land of logic.
Third awareness: What is the story I’m making up in my head, about the situation? She takes me for granted, she’s superficial, she’s using me. Wow, lots of “blaming” thoughts are really loudly bouncing around in my mind!” Nope, turns out it’s not about the money at all. It’s that she hasn’t returned my calls in a timely manner or answered my emails. I’ve gone out of my way to support her, because I enjoy her. The story I made up in my head, she’s no longer interested in investing in our friendship. Ouch! No wonder I’m pursing my lips.
Fourth step: I try to put myself in her position to see if can figure out her side of the fence. I suspect she’s feeling uncomfortable, not knowing what to say to me. She might be thinking, Why would she bring this up so many years later? And then, opps oh yes, there’s one more complicated factor, I’m longtime friends with her recent former boss who fired her. Guilt by association. She hates me for being friends with the man who fired her!
Fifth factor: Seek till I find a place of compassion. She’s afraid I’m talking about her behind her back or siding against her or judging her. She’s embarrassed thinking her former boss is complaining about her and she’s scared about money even though she starts her new job in another month. Okay, I melt, my heart softens.
Sixth and last: I check out the story I’m making up. Call her back and share with her the story I’m making up in my head. Yikes! Scary but necessary! We talk, I find out she simply forgot she owed me the money. She would have been happy to pay it back. She shared she hasn’t reached out because she was afraid her boss had turned me against her. She was afraid to speak directly to me about it and she’s really been missing me. I share with her, I’ve been missing her too. And that I could have reached out to her but stubbornly held back.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could identify our defenses without becoming defensive? You’ll have the opportunity to learn how to do that at the next Essential Keys to Energy Healing workshop!