Two Butterflies Meet
Two butterflies meet in midair.
They celebrate their intimate
pairing, and fly as one being
with mingled wings. When
their impromptu coupling is
complete, they take their leave,
no sadness in their parting.
I was utterly disappointed.
Looking at our friendship was like looking through a fishbowl. Everything seemed distorted – I was trying to prevent him from thinking I was calculating while assuming he was trying to create reality as he desired it in response to the manipulation he assumed I was enacting but trying hard to avoid. Confused? Yea… me too.
It seemed suddenly like the past four months were for naught. What was the point if we couldn’t salvage a relationship? What were the past four months about if not experimenting with the bonding of a man and a woman in intimate friendship? I felt like I had just slid down the mountain I had spent months trekking up. I didn’t have the energy to try again… I assumed that all was lost. Were we even friends?
Luckily, my friends are incredibly astute. First, one pointed out how attached I was to the outcome rather than the process. Have you not grown in awareness and depth? she asked. Yes. Most definitely yes. Do you need anything from him in order to retain this sense of self-awareness for yourself? No. Most definitely no.
Another friend later asked me pointedly about my assumptions about how he felt. Pulling out the Byron Katie card, she asked, is what you imagined true? Did he really not want to be my friend? Well…no. It wasn’t true – it was my story.
A small crack in my certainty about him formed; light flooded into the space cold fear had occupied, warming it. Maybe he does care. Maybe I’ve misunderstood him. Maybe there’s a friendship there afterall. Maybe I need to be silent and listen for the truth.
Today, we hung out – as friends do. I was awed. In just a couple days I went from feeling like we might hardly ever speak again to laughing together in the car after a coffee run. Letting go of my assumptions and allowing for people react to situations differently than I expect is simple in theory but complicated in practice. So much of how I see the world is deeply embedded within my make-up, and it is only slowly, and with practice, that I am removing the the planks in my eye so that I may see reality more clearly.
We made tentative plans to hang out at the end of the month. Like friends would.