Pandora’s Box Revealed it’s Treasure
Today was the day Pandora’s Box revealed its treasure. I have spent the last few months, walking to all of the pain that I could find in my thoughts in my false belief that the treasure lies somewhere within this pain. If I could see, feel my way through.. But yet, there was always some residual darkness in this journey. I felt something was always leering from right around the corner. But I was committed! I was being courageous in this journey, badge of honor; you know the crap we tell ourselves. I was both the heroine and victim in my story. Offender and offended and so life went on, until today.
Something very interesting happened. Earlier in the day I was having a conversation with a friend that turned into an argument as my “mind”, “emotion” and the “me that was hurt” took over. I couldn’t move past those thoughts so I attacked. I am hurt, so I will hurt you. And hurt I did. Offended turned into offender. How quickly I believed those thoughts and how easy it was for me to turn.
After the conversation ended, in a while, I recognized what I had done, I called and apologized. Well, was I blasted, apology not accepted, who did I think I was, etc. The game played so often had begun. I was the offended turned into the offender. I was to be hurt again for hurting.
But something happened in the middle of that conversation. I listened, with no judgment. I knew she were right. I had done all the things she said, not only in this instance but in many, many more. I was the offender. I played this game, and I was excellent at it.
Now the interesting part, during this conversation “the one that observes” just watched. In a moment there was a space where time simply stopped and in that moment, I was free. Free from what drove me to the argument, free from the pain of the attack, and free from the future consequences. I knew I was neither the offender nor the offended; I was so much more and yet so much less. I appeared to be the space between the works and the space around the words, but somehow NOT the words or their intended meaning. This experience may have cost me my very best friend (years of built of resentment and anger) but in this moment, simply “free”. Something “broke” something “changed”. Can this game truly be over?
I think, I may lose her as my friend and yet I am free, happy. My first instinct is to call and share this moment with her, but alas I cannot. She is still really pissed at me. And I understand why, ironically that makes me laugh out loud.
In full disclosure, I hope it’s not seen as I “used” her to get to here. I didn’t and would never. The consequences are real, her feelings are real and her anger and pain she believes I have caused her are real. And I own that and am truly sorry. I behaved in a way that she can call those beliefs real. I am just free from the belief that, her anger and judgment makes me unlovable thus; who I am is unlovable. She may never forgive me and yet I know there is nothing that either of us needs to forgive each other for. We have seen each other as both the offender and the offended. And in reality we are neither. We are simply human and we believe what we are taught to believe about ourselves.
Bonnie was inducted into the Order of the Sword & Shield National Honor Society at St. John’s University, New York City for her work in Business Resilience.
Bonnie is Past Chair of the Association of Contingency Planners where she served for 6 years.
She is a proud native of New Orleans and has experienced what she calls, “The Katrina, Rita, Ike, Gustav, and BP Oil Spill” disasters first hand. She has had to learn how being resilience leaders and businesses to increased performance, achieve stronger relationships, and build mental toughness that we all need in today’s ever increasing busy world.
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