What do we see when we look in the mirror? The person we want to see? The real us, or do we see the reflection of the person we wish we were? It's a difficult thing to take a long hard look at yourself. But you know what? One thing this year has taught me is that it's actually quite a beneficial thing - to look and try to see the real person. I had spent years hoping, when I looked in the mirror or at photos, that I would see the person I wanted to be. But I seemed to be getting further and further away as time went on. Then one day I took a look inside myself and faced the difficult truths, and as scary as facing this was, it has been amazing. Making changes, and facing the scariness was the path to my real happiness. Now I know that sounds corny or flakey, but it is the truth. I just wish more people could do it.
I know it's hard to face the truth when you're scared. And I've been trying to help a friend over the last couple of weeks, work through something uncomfortable, confronting and scary. But how do you deal with someone who wants to talk, but doesn't understanding that an important part of talking is listening! How can you help when excuses come thick and fast? We've all spent time in our lives where fear has ruled decisions we've made, even if we can't recognize it at the time. Facing difficult things about ourselves, is well....difficult. But at what point do you give up trying to help someone who for many complex reasons, doesn't want to or can't be helped?
Do we need someone to hold the mirror up for us? To make us stop and look. Really look at ourselves and face the scariness that we might not like what we see. It can be confronting, and sometimes the truth hurts. But by coming face to face with this truth, it may be the only way some people are inspired to change. I have been wrestling with thoughts in the last few days about telling my friend what I feel. That she needs to change things in her life and face some hard truths. Can I be the one to hold the mirror up to her life? I'm unsure. Unsure it would make a difference. Unsure that she could cope. Unsure that she can look inside and process and reflect on her life.
In the meantime I'm not sure where that leaves me. Forever in a cycle with this friend where drama on a grand scale is an annual event, and we must all rally around to help pick up the pieces. Sometimes I want to take her and shake her by the shoulders and hope that I can get through to her. Make her listen rather than talk. Many friends have rallied around me this year, and some of them have talked to me about difficult subjects and concerns they had about the change in my life. It's awkward, confronting and sometimes upsetting, but if it makes me think, then maybe at the end of the day it's what had to be done. But what do you do when someone else's drama weighs you down? Can I make my friend realise that her drama exhausts me.
I'm still debating what to do. Talk to her now, or wait until the next time and set boundaries and try to make her realise that I can't offer the intense sustained level of support she requires. Especially if things don't change and the cycle continues. The hard truth is that it's makes me wonder what the point is. To console and comfort, talk her off the ledge until the next drama cripples her, then me by association? Perhaps the truth I'm currently scared of is that unless things change, this friendship can at times be too much for me. And maybe the time to be honest has come.