Don’t React to Your Friend – Twice!

 

This lesson was so strong that I got it twice in a row, with the same person.

 

This happened with my friend Doris, who I wrote about in “Recovery in Friendships,” and in my first book, in a section titled “Doris.” This was a painful experience for me.

This was also a lesson in not reacting and it was a lesson that I passed. I received an upsetting email from Doris and I did not react. I did not respond right away. I prayed about it and contacted my inner teen. God said I didn’t have to do anything about it, so I didn’t. That doesn’t mean it was easy. There was a big part of the old Juliet deep down in there that wanted to go shamefully crawling back to my long-time friend, blubbering all the way, stating how “less than” I was, and begging forgiveness. I was really hurting.

 

That has been my training from my family for most of my life and I was an excellent student. But I did not react. I clung to the words and voice of God for dear life and listened. This was difficult, laborious, and emotionally exhausting for me, but I got through it. God told me not to respond to the email, so I didn’t.

 

A couple of weeks later, I got another email from her, which was an attempt to tell me how she felt about things. I felt my heart start to race as I read the email. None of it felt positive. I took it all in as blame. As I read it, I felt like I was being put through a paper shredder. My heart chakra felt really uncomfortable. Panic was setting in. It didn’t feel good. I felt the CoDA crazies coming on. I was in trouble.

 

All of Juliet’s Codependency Patterns and Feelings that are listed above were in action inside my brain.

 

I wanted to react by emailing right away, just as I wanted to with the student, in an endless apology, begging forgiveness so I could feel better about my pitiful self.

 

I started once again by chanting my mantras:

  • Time out!
  • I will not react.
  • I will wait for God’s guidance.

 

I repeated them over and over.

 

Thanks be to my loving, all powerful, merciful God. He got me out of that chair at my computer and sent me upstairs to my altar. I contacted the inner child and the inner teen. The details of the contact with my inner child and inner teen are presented in further detail in “The Inner Child and Doris” section of “Recovery and the Inner Child” later in this book.

 

The short version that I will present here is that I asked the child, the teen, and Christ what to do and they told me. They told the how, when, and what regarding my email to her. I followed directions and did that. I thought it was a nice email.  Summing it up, I asked for space from her. It was really difficult for me to do this, but I did what God wanted me to do. In the end, as tough as this process was, I felt relief — a huge amount of relief.

 

Then I got on Facebook and saw part of her post. The trailer indicated she was devastated by something, but then you had to click on it to find out the details. I didn’t click on it. I didn’t take the bait. I didn’t react. Yea me! It was tough. My heart was beating and I felt like I was bad. I had been bad and was hurting her and it was all my fault. I was mean. This was my inner critic once again giving me grief. The good news is that I did not react. I told my inner critic to be quiet and I got the heck out of there. I stopped following her on Facebook and eventually defriended her.

 

This was a good decision for me and for my inner child. We feel much safer.

 

A few weeks later, I got another group email post from her. I was away at the American String Teachers Association Conference in Utah at the time. The subject line referred to the dark, rough time she was going through. This email came late on a Friday night, just as so many of them had. This was a lesson in not reacting. I felt panic run through my body. I did not feel safe and neither did my inner child. I stopped. I breathed in and out. I called a program friend for support. She stayed on the phone with me as I deleted the email. I know this was what God wanted me to do. This was my lesson. After all, what else could I do? It seemed to me that I could never do anything right in this person’s eyes. Anything I did got criticized. Reacting would have no doubt had bad, painful consequences. I followed the directions from God and am better off. I did not react. Good for me.

 

 

 

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