last night we were invited to attend a dear friend’s 60th birthday. this was a special celebration as brian and i will also be turning 60 this year, and the three of us happen to be monkeys according to the chinese calendar. she’s a very special friend, who i admire greatly. but we were also going to be surrounded by friends who are not only dear to us, but who also are reminders of our past, and the mistakes that we have made.
and for this reason, the night represented a stressful evening for brian- “there’s a really good chance i’m not going to make it,” he warned.
instead of waiting for him to decide whether or not he was going to be able to make it. i decided to make plans to be there for my friend, and to allow him the freedom to get there if he could. i sent her a message letting her know of the possibility that he may not make it.
i picked up the phone and asked another friend of mine for a ride, told my hubby that i’d see him there if he felt he could make it, but that i would totally understand if he couldn’t.
instead of sitting around upset that he couldn’t get out the door, and feeling so deprived and let down – ‘woe is me’…’i feel so trapped and alone’…’i’m such a victim’…’i could be so much happier with someone else.’ – i was able to spend some quality time visiting with old friends, eating delicious food, hugging and laughing with the birthday girl…
and just as they were bringing out the dinner, brian showed up! – and he was smiling!!
it was a glorious evening that i will forever remember. the two of us got to be there for our friend, but we didn’t have to depend on the other to get there.
we each were able to let go of codependent behavior – relying on someone else’s behavior to make us happy.
i’ve learned over time that i don’t have to make anyone responsible for my happiness…i can find my own happiness and make plans that include him on a timeline separate from mine. my happiness is not dependent on him making me happy. there is no more ‘he would, if he loved me,’ instead it’s ‘i can, if i love myself.’
in acceptance of our differences, we find harmony. the day may come when we can arrive at the same time, but it doesn’t have to be today.