Leaving the outcome in the hands of God…

What does it mean in the big scheme of things when most areas in one’s life are working extremely well, but yet one or two aspects seem to have all the ingredients of the worst imaginable nightmare?  That’s a question I’ve been asking myself on a regular basis in recent months.
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Perhaps it’s just a fact of being alive and part of the human condition. Or, maybe it’s a mirror of internal conflict? It may also have nothing to do with us as individuals, but be part of the bigger picture – such as a soul contract for the highest good of a group of souls.

Does it really matter what it’s about? As I’m typing these words I am remembering one of the fundamental messages in Viktor Frankl’s  book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’.  Based on Frankl’s experience and his life’s work, it seems there is a need within most of us to find meaning in what’s happening in our lives, because that’s what makes the suffering bearable. True acceptance of the challenges in life can often be the first step forward.

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And so the story goes……

Last August someone asked to meet me to discuss a situation that was problematic for both of us, and which needed to be resolved sooner rather than later. I agreed to meet up with them, and on that occasion, I mainly listened. Later that night and the following morning I asked myself why I’d resisted speaking my mind to the other person. The reason was simple enough – I was afraid that if I spoke honestly, I might be judged; or that what I said may come back to bite me. However, I also felt incredibly sorry for the other person because they had been emotionally sucked into this situation by someone else, and they too were put in an incredibly difficult position. I knew they were only trying their best to resolve a situation that had many layers of emotional complexity.

After that first meeting, I phoned a friend for some spiritual counselling and direction.  As my friend explored the situation with me, she asked me if I trusted the other person that I had been speaking to – I didn’t even have to think about my response, my reaction was totally spontaneous. I said to her: “I would trust that person with my life”.  My friend said to me that the solution seemed pretty clear. She advised me of the need to have an honest conversation and allow my vulnerability to be seen. I knew at that moment that I should immediately contact the person and offer to meet them as soon as possible. I knew that the person had a high level of anxiety over this issue and I wanted to help them in as far as possible.

We met later that afternoon and I spoke honestly about my situation. I also said that I wished that things were different and that this person hadn’t been involved in the situation but that I believed there was a solution where everyone’s needs could be met. I also explained that I knew my suggestion would most likely not be well received by others. I felt awkward explaining my perspective but overall it felt like a healthy and honest conversation.  I explained how the issue being discussed was not really the issue.  Apart from wanting the other person to have their needs met, all I hoped for was some level of security for my retirement.  I had no sense that anything I said was experienced by the other person as being outlandish or unreasonable. We finished that meeting with a big hug for one another.

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In the days that followed, I felt hopeful that something positive might come from that conversation. However, as days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months – the silence was deafening. I had a clear sense that the initial feeling of caution that I experienced during our first meeting in August was correct and that I had been downright foolish for not taking heed of it.

Late November after a number of failed attempts to meet up, I finally managed to make a plan with the other person for us to meet for dinner on the 1st December; but even then my gut instinct was telling me that all was not well. The day that we were due to meet, the postman delivered a solicitor’s letter to me and just as I had feared, it was connected to that conversation the previous August.

It was at this point in time that I should have picked up the phone and cancelled the meeting for later that evening but I didn’t. By the time the person called for me I was like a helium balloon; totally ungrounded.  I felt betrayed and angry but that was really just my defence against overpowering feelings of hurt and sadness.  I was obviously incapable of being rational at that time. I should have made some excuse not to meet up until I had processed the experience and managed to adequately bracket the emotion.

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Looking back on the experience and reflecting on the emotional explosion between the two of us – it was just like flicking a match into a container of petrol – it turned into an inferno in minutes.  We both said some very unkind and unhelpful things to one another, and without a doubt, we hurt each other deeply.  The saddest aspect of this situation is that, of all the people in this world, my love for this person is totally and absolutely unconditional. Despite everything that’s happened I know deep in my heart that they love me too.

The months roll by and the situation remains unhealed. Ten solicitor’s letters have been received and all of them promptly responded to by me, but God knows, it’s not in a solicitor’s interest to resolve conflict and strife without running up hefty bills, and from that perspective, there’s little money to be made in resolving issues amicably.  The majority of emails and letters from the solicitor on behalf of their “client” are masterpiece examples of how to stick the knife in even further and to make an already sore wound, septic.

It proved utterly pointless to do the adult thing and politely ask the solicitor not to refer to this person in their written communication. Why? because the intention behind those letters is to use the relationship with this other person to pull firmly at the heartstrings. There is no defence against those type of tactics.  They are emotionally brutal by design, and no one should be subjected to them.

So, how does one actually deal with this type of experience and remain sane at the same time? With great effort, one rises above it. One does not react to what’s happening but instead responds to it – two wrongs have never been known to make something right.

Life can take curious routes to enable us to learn life’s lessons. On reflection, perhaps trying to resolve this situation without allowing everything to come to the surface is not for the higher good of all involved.

Sometimes one has to be willing to make a conscious decision to just let go of the nightmare, and that’s what needs to happen if there is to be any chance of awakening from it.  In this situation that means leaving the outcome in the hands of God.  🙏🏻

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