I got a phone call from my bestie yesterday. She was upset about an unkindness she had been shown, and needed the shoulder only a best friend can give. She shared and I listened – and then I offered my thoughts and she took them in. A simple volley of words exchanged over a ten-minute period of time, and every feather that had been ruffled when she called, was back in its proper place when we hung up.
If anyone had listened in to our chat it was not all ‘rainbows and butterflies’ as the saying goes. There was a fair amount of sarcasm, negativity, and flat out judgment cast upon the phone line between us. To some, this may seem ‘ unspiritual’ and ‘catty’. I would exchange those words for ‘honest’ and ‘human’. It does not matter how spiritual we are- we still have feelings. Denying those feelings does not make us spiritual- it just makes us repressed. This conversational short spew of negativity is a perk of our deep and abiding friendship- and she and I both know the grace it offers us. We have a pre-arranged agreement- that when one of us needs to have one of these ‘dark talks’ we go at it. There are only three rules.
- These conversations are infrequent.
- The conversation needs to be of relatively short duration,
- We speak it to release it- not to grow it bigger.
- Before we begin we light a sacred bonfire. (The bonfire is symbolic- but everything else is very very real.)
So when one of our dark talks needs to happen, with rules in place, we let it happen. Every thought, word, and judgment that we throw out goes right into that bonfire. We release what we need to, but what is released, does not flow out into the universe. Nothing that is said goes anywhere near the person who the words may be about. Instead, those words go right into the flames, where they are transmuted into some positive form that we are not elevated enough to create on our own. How do I know this occurs? Because she and I have clearly stated our intention of this to the universe- and we both believe that an intention stated with sincerity that intends harm to no one, is an offer the universe will simply never refuse.
I can say with great certainty, these ‘bonfire’ talks have saved many a person in my life from receiving a good old verbal arse whoopin’ from me. I also know that these talks have saved me from myself, and spared me many days of humiliation and regret. I know my bestie concurs.
She and I often talk about the great lesson that we have learned the hard way- that we do not need to attend every argument we are invited to. Sure, sometimes we have to fight back- but more often than not, the wiser option is to remain silent. Silence does not make the emotion go away- but it does save us the entanglement of a disagreement that will often end up like a piece of gum stuck on the bottom of our shoe. A gooey mess, that will stretch and spread, and soil a whole bunch of different places in our world.
At the very core of this rite of friendship that we share together, is the deep belief that the universe usually takes care of things best…. And that we are better off letting it do so, whenever possible. So when we are able to, we demurely decline many of the daily arguments that life invites us to. And on those days when we find that even after we have walked away the transgression is still going on in our heads- that’s when we meet at this sacred bonfire we have built between us. It is here that we offer up the words we have swallowed, knowing that as we release them, they are transformed. The words may be cold, but this friendship, it is warm…. And the dark feelings we sometimes release, they are no more than kindling to a fire- that burns brightly in our souls.