Are you living with porcupines? You must wonder what I’m smoking!
For a long time I was under the mistaken notion that if you call someone a friend, you’ve got to stick with them for life. Then I realized that certain people I called friends, didn’t really act that way towards me. I decided to cut them off. Unfortunately, things were and continue to be bitter on both sides. I might have regrets about some of my behavior and actions towards them thereafter, but none whatsoever about cutting them off. No matter what they believe about why I moved away, I know it was a matter of reclaiming my freedom to grow.
For a time, I must admit, that I wondered if I was right about such decisions. Was I becoming intolerant? Was I setting standards for other people and if they stepped out of line or caused me some irritation I cut them off? I realized that this was not true at all. I am able to forgive and move on with people who are closest to me – my husband and my real friends. Just as they forgive me too. I am able to put up with their idiosyncrasies (even when I grumble about them!), just as they put up with mine. I am able to laugh off their mistakes, just as they laugh off mine. I am able to put up with their bad moods, just as they live through mine. And it is, precisely because we accept each other, love and support each other despite all our imperfections, that these relationships are life-giving to me.
It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together. They were covered and protected, but the quills of each wounded the closest companion.
After a while, they decided to distance themselves, and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth. Wisely, they decided to go back to being together.
I’m glad to be able to live with the porcupines. Indeed, I can’t live without them.
Are you living with porcupines too?