The winds of this friendship are harsh. I want to talk to him but I need for him to initiate the conversation this time. I need to see him put in an effort this time. Does he hold a value to this friendship like I do – or do I just serve some utilitarian purpose as I’ve stated a few times before on this blog.
I often feel like this friendship is one-sided. That I have to be there whenever he needs me but when I need him I have to take a number. It’s quite a bother. Our only form of communication have been just a series of Facebook “likes” and “pokes” and I am starting to think that is all it will be.
I sit here at IHOP this morning alone wondering – like I often do lately – what the state of our friendship is and conversely I’m also wondering whether merely wondering about that at all is an indication of the withering health of the friendship. We were getting rather close when things were tough for him, probably because he was relying on me for so much, now that he doesn’t have to depend on me – he can go back to treating me like an option again.
There is a part of me that believes that I need him in my life as a source of strength, but I’ve lived for such a long time without the support of someone else that maybe that feeling is just an illusion that I’ve developed during my stay in the hospital back in December.
Thich Nhat Hanh has a short story/parable in one of his books called A POT IN SEARCH OF A LID – and in many ways I think it applies to me.
A POT IN SEARCH OF A LID
Very often we feel like a pot without a lid. We believe that our lid is somewhere in the world and that if we look very hard, we’ll find the right lid to cover our pot. The feeling of emptiness is always there inside us. When we contemplate the other person, sometimes we think we see what we feel we lack. We think we need someone else to lean on, to take refuge in, and to diminish our suffering. We want to be the object of another person’s attention and contemplation. We want someone who will look at us and embrace our feeling of emptiness and suffering with his energy of mindfulness. Soon we become addicted to that kind of energy; we think that without that attention, we can’t live. It helps us feel less empty and helps us forget the block of suffering inside. When we ourselves can’t generate the energy to take care of ourselves, we think we need the energy of someone else. We focus on the need and the lack rather than generating the energy of mindfulness, concentration, and insight that can heal our suffering and help the other person as well.
Sometimes I live under the misguided notion that one purpose of life is to find someone else to lean on for various means of support – I don’t know if that is necessarily the case though. At any rate I’m slowly beginning to realize that is not the case. Being ‘fiercely independent’ seems to have worked in my life up to this point – I think it will the course that I will continue to take.
I need to focus on other things – meet new people and stop tolerating being treated like a stepping stone. I am the ‘lid’ to my own ‘pot’ and I’ve forgotten that. My ability to stand on my own two feet should not be dependent on someone else.There is, I guess, an ‘inner-strength’ that I must regain – that I set aside when this friendship began to develop.
I need to breath.