Pythagoras asks that we not let a friend go lightly, for whatever reason. Instead, we should stay with a friend as long as we can, until we’re compelled to abandon him completely against our will. It’s a serious thing to toss away money, but to cast aside a person is even more serious. Nothing in human life is more rarely found, nothing more dearly possessed. No loss is more chilling or more dangerous than that of a friend.
As many of you know, in my personal life, I am on a journey that is winding down a relationship with a person I cherish. In a moment of raw emotion I told this person he was dead to me. As raw and as real as that feeling was the moment I blurted it out without expectation….it remains true for me today. Time, months, has passed since I utter those words. What is interesting, is what I’ve come to learn and understand those words to mean to me.
Some have judged me by saying I was wrong to say them, especially in front of our children. Some have boldly stated I was cold to hurt my friend in that way. Others have shared their surprise I could be so ‘cruel’; but…they are not me, nor were they there to witness the situation or what led up to it. The painful truth is, those words were true when I spoke them and…they are still true to me right now; and for the same reasons. I will not defend or explain myself, but I will share this. The friend I cherished and honoured; who I shared all my hopes and dreams with…he is gone. His body remains but the part of him joined to me, that I trusted, honoured, believed in….that person is gone, because of the things he says and does (or doesn’t say or do). I suspect from his perspective, the part of me joined to him – is gone for him as well.
I was introduced to the book “Soul Mates” (by Thomas Moore) and read this quote by Pythagoras’ which resonated with me on a very deep level. Years ago, my friend and I watched the movie Titanic. In true Hollywood fashion, they took a tragic event and romanced it ~ I’ve no judgement on that, but for me what touched me so deeply in that movie was what I suspect many couples face in similar situations. In fact, it inspired a conversation between my friend and me. If we ever found ourselves in a position where we’d die together and leave our children alone or one of us would die while the other could live on with our children….we agreed we’d let the other go so our children would not lose us both. Without getting into all the details, for me, we have metaphorically come to such a time; thus I suppose is why I unexpectedly and without fore thought, at that moment said, “…You are dead to me…”
I was losing myself while trying to hold on to my friend, and a relationship I still honoured and believed to be enchanting. So, at that moment my soul knew (I felt) “compelled to abandon him” against my will. It was for my survival and that of my children that I had to let go of my illusions and my hopes that we could be respectful or compassionate toward each other…at this time.
My soul needed for me to accept the death of the relationship I cherished and revered so much. Holding on to the expectation that we could somehow rescue our relationship or our family was suffocating me and in turned torturing our children. I suppose those raw feelings at that moment and my instinct to survive took over and thus blurted out “….you are dead to me; if my husband saw what you were doing to his wife and children…” At that moment….I was in shock…I was numb.
I suppose that is why Pythagoras’ words “but to cast aside a person is even more serious” and “No loss is more chilling or more dangerous than that of a friend” resonates with me so deeply.
Sometimes when our soul speaks to us, we choose not to listen. This friend’s memory, like so many other people, animals, and experiences…will always be a part of whom I am; and who I will become. But for now, as we are today, what we had has died. I will mourn that loss, but I will not choose to ignore the gifts life still has to offer me and our children.
Living in mindfulness and living a life with purpose…makes the transition during this loss easier for me. I don’t want to blame or get even. Those behaviours are energy suckers; they are judgemental and don’t help me or my children; nor do they help my family who is also suffering a great loss. For my friends and colleagues who care for me deeply, and who continue to be wonderful supports for my children and myself, I would be dishonouring them too if I were to focus my time clinging to the past.
As I continue to move forward on my life’s path, while it will not be without pain; it will be intended to be without regret. I will continually do my best to be mindful of my choices; to ensure profound decisions are still made in consultation with my heart. Sometimes I’ll pause in order to rejuvenate; other times I’ll glance back at my wake to check in with myself; but most always I will live through my soul. In so doing, not only do I live my life with purpose and in mindfulness, but I also create a life for me and those I share it with, that is spirited; open to acceptance, forgiveness, unconditional love and in an energy that invites playfulness, exploration and peace.
In all that I am and as I see in you….Namaste