I’ve been so guilty of saying I’ll do something and then not doing it. And I’ve also been guilty of being upset at others for doing the same thing. For example, when we run into an old friend while out shopping and it just blurts out of our mouth as we’re leaving,
“It was so good to see you. Let’s get together very soon.”
And yet, we don’t really mean it, and we never call that friend, and she never calls us, and that encounter is gone and forgotten.
Another example is finding out a friend has a new business or has written a new book, and we are so excited (or seem to be) and we tell them we will check it out. But as time goes by, we’ve forgotten about their newness because our life is busy, and we never even visit their website or read their book. We said we would. And we didn’t.
What about those friends that say, “Let’s get together for a date,” or “Why don’t we have lunch?” and then they never call. And we don’t call them because they said they’d call us, and we are tired of being the initiator. Or…we wait for them to call and they don’t, so we assume they were lying and don’t really like us.
Haven’t you found yourself in one of those thought streams above, or have you too been guilty of spurting out sentiments you don’t really mean, or verbalizing intentions but then never following through? Is it a bad thing? I think it’s hurtful, to those we talk to and to ourselves when we hear those words of hope, only to never see that friend again.
The pandemic hasn’t done friendships any favors. Some folks we used to see on a regular basis, ones we thought really enjoyed our company, have just disappeared into their homes or behind their four walls or somewhere…and we haven’t heard from them. Or maybe it’s we who have just grown tired of the effort that has to be made to connect with others, so we just don’t do it. After all, we have our jobs, our routines and our own families, and we don’t have any emotional energy left to spend.
I’m there. In all of those thoughts and rationales and sentiments.
I am hoping, however, that I will be more careful about my words that I speak to others.
If I say I want to meet up, I hope I really mean it and follow through.
If she says she’s wants to have lunch, I hope she will call me. And if she doesn’t, I can call her.
If I feel everyone is slipping away, I hope I can offer grace and reach out, anyway.
If I feel myself hibernating and pitying life, I hope I give thanks and look up and reach out for the joy…
I’ve been disappointed in how we’ve all reacted to the pandemic, although we all should offer ourselves grace, because we’ve not lived in a world like this before. Who knew a year ago that we’d all be told to stay indoors, avoid others, don’t touch or hug, and certainly don’t sit and linger for visits indoors over an extended period of time. Pretty soon, that became our norm and we forgot the importance of connections because they were too difficult and risky to make.
I don’t know the answer going forward, or how much longer we will have to avoid others. It’s getting old. But I do know that we have to be intentional this year to watch our words, guard our hearts, and continue to love.
We all need connection. And if it can’t happen in person as much as we’d like, we have to text, call, meet at a distance, and care. And our words have to count for something, or we just need to stop saying them.
I hope I am cautious, thoughtful, and intentional on committing myself to notice and care about a friend, and then follow up. And I hope others will do the same with me. At the very least, it’s something for us all to think about, as we gather together in different ways and by different means and with different mask-covered faces.
We can’t stop loving and sharing, it’s how we will thrive and bless others, and be blessed. And we must listen to what we say and then when we say it…do it.