“A true friend freely advises, justly assists, readily adventures, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably."
- William Penn -
There's a memory from my childhood that I will never be able to get out of my mind.
One day, outside of Flint, Michigan, my Mom and I were stuck in terrible traffic. The traffic was backed up it seems, for miles. As we eek'd our way down the highway, we could see what was causing the traffic jam up ahead. There had been some kind of accident.
As we neared the accident, there was only one car at the scene and it looked, for the most part free of damage. There in front of the car on the ground was a giant pool of blood and (forgive me for the visual) guts strewn across the highway.
The trail of blood and gore led to the body of an animal- a beautiful black doberman pinscher that had been hit by the car. I saw a rescue worker standing over the dog, trying to get it up onto a blanket, but each time the worker would reach for the dog, the dog would snap, and growl, and gnash its teeth.
The dog was so traumatized from the impact that it didn't know the difference between an enemy and a friend.
I think about this experience every time that I go through pain.
When we are hurting, we lose all perspective. Someone or some-thing has wounded us. We are damaged- and there's a trail of blood to prove it.
We are loved by many, and when they try to help we just can't see it. We have no reason to be suspicious of them. They are like angels trying to lift us to safety, but our response is often to snap, and growl, and treat them as the enemy.
Once we are on the other side of the trauma and we start to heal, we see that these "angels" are not our enemies. They kept reaching in to help, even after we snapped at them, and gnashed at them, and rejected their attempts to help us.
This is animal.
This is also human.
I would imagine we've all experienced this more than a few times. If you've healed, or are still in the process of healing, look around you.
Who keeps calling?
Who keeps texting?
Who keeps stopping by to check in on how you are doing?
These are the people who care more about you than they do being the recipient of a bruised ego, a snide remark, or an array of defiant phrases.
These are true friends.