Last week we focused on cleaning house in Week 4 of The Prosperous Heart by Julia Cameron. In Week 5, we clean house regarding friendships.
Having recently moved into my new community, the friendships are few so there wasn’t much by way of cleaning with those I see “live.”
But there were the niggly friendships of yesteryear.
Those that hang out in the recesses of my mind. Those conversations I wish I had with people. Those moments when I wish I would have stuck up for myself when someone wanted to cut me down a notch. And realizations that some people weren’t inviting me into a friendship so much as seeing what I could do for them.
Of course I didn’t see it at the time. But later, once things dawn on me, I would think ARGH! WHAT WAS MY DEAL!?!?!? That was when the long-term friends in my inner circle came along and told me that yeah, lady, we saw that a mile away.
So I’ve been sorting through a lot of this on my walks.
In this 12-week course, you must add a couple of walks. I admit, though I’m an urban hiker by nature, the last month has been challenging for me.
The ides of March and all that.
The mystics behind the scene of The Prosperous Heart must have been paying attention because I received a temporary helper this week:
She is very good at walking her human. When she’s not keeping me on the program she’s sniffing cancer samples. Yep, she’s a dog with a job. I went to see her lab recently and it was mighty amazing. These dogs can sniff out cancer better than our modern technology.
The dogs don’t wear lab coats.
That was disappointing.
But the rest of it was very cool. When she’s not saving people’s lives with early detection, she’s walking me around the river.
So in the course there are these little exercises each week. One I found particularly helpful was the “God bless…” exercise. (It’s in Week 7… I read ahead but it pertains to lame friendships of yesteryear). In the book, a girl was asked to write down in her journal ten times “God bless Carl,” who was some arse that wronged her long ago. She didn’t want to do it because he was a big jerk and AS IF. But she did it anyway. This is what happened:
“The more I wrote, ‘God bless him,’ the more I realized that maybe I meant, ‘God take him.’ He’s not my problem. He’s God’s problem.”
And her resentment simmered and released. So after my walks of seething at those who hath wronged me, I wrote “God bless (insert names ahoy here).” I must admit, I there is something to this because on my next walk, I had more of a skip in my step.