May the defendant please rise. We the jury find the defendant... Guilty.
As I sat there trying to focus on what other people were saying I found myself reflecting back on those broken relationships in my life. One word kept popping up in my thoughts... guilty.
My best friend from childhood and I stopped talking a few years after she moved to a new city. I'm guilty.
My best friends from freshman/sophomore high school cut me off after my sophomore year. I'm guilty.
My good friends from junior year always left me out. I'm guilty.
My best friend in college and I had a "break up" on multiple occasions, but permanently a couple years ago. I'm guilty.
My sort of cousin and I stopped talking a year and a half ago. I'm guilty.
In all of these friendships, the only common denominator I could find... me. So I instantly thought it was my fault. These friendships didn't last because of something I did or didn't do.
I know that in every relationship there are two people. That the end of a relationship or the strain on a relationship is never solely one person's fault. But knowing that and believing that, are two VERY different things.
But I see it as my fault. I must have done something wrong. I wasn't a good enough friend. I didn't listen. Didn't care enough. Didn't try to stay connected enough. Didn't _____ or _______ (fill in as you see fit). But for some reason I feel like my close friendships always end.
Sitting in the candle and lamp light that night I recognized that I often put myself on trial. That I judge myself (we are often our own worst critics, are we not?). Often. And not just in relationships, but in many things that I do. But that night, when thinking back on relationships, and specifically these friendships...
I was judged, and found wanting.
Remember life is short. So think about your dreams a little harder.
Reach a little higher. Laugh a little louder. Love a little stronger.
Because many things in life can wait... The Sunset Won't!