Loyalty is a character trait of strength. It’s standing by someone’s side when you’ve promised you would. It’s defending those you love/value against those who wish them harm. It means being and being present. It doesn’t take a lot of effort and it doesn’t cost any money. It’s simply a reflection of who a person is.
Over the last five months, when I’ve been in need, I’ve been buoyed by those who have rushed to my side and those who have quietly and gently let me know I am loved. Whatever it looks like on the outside, my road has not been easy. That was my choice. But, that didn’t mean I wanted to walk it alone. And, I didn’t have to. In addition to my parents and my sister, I’ve had true friends by my side. I have felt my relationships strengthen because when I was weak, I was surrounded by those who were strong and could carry me along until I could walk on my own again. They didn’t do it for accolades, and I don’t think they did it because they felt like they had to. It’s just a reflection of their characters. There were those who checked up on my daily, some who sent me a message every so often to let me know I was in their thoughts, those who showed up when others didn’t, those who did what needed to be done without being asked. I’m constantly reminded how lucky I am to have so many who love me.
Here’s where we take the turn. While many were loving and supportive, I feel betrayed by others. I feel betrayed because of gossip and because of disloyalty. I wrote a letter upbraiding one who tried to make me feel small (because after all, that’s what a gossipy person does, isn’t it? She talks loudly and to whomever will listen about someone to make herself look better by comparison, although a wise person will see it for what it is: an insecure person feigning self-esteem). I wrote this letter and I shared it with a few friends, and with my parents. There was anger, hurt and a lot of “look at yourself in the mirror; who do you think you are?” I made astute points, elucidated my thoughts in ways I was proud of, that could hardly be argued against and was sincere in my conclusions: we are not friends, do not bother with me again, and shut your mouth about me since you don’t have the first idea about who I am.
I decided not to send it on the advice of a friend. I thought about how far I’ve come in the last few months and I truly believe all we do is connected. So if I take the low road in this situation, I will suffer for it later and I’m just not willing to do that. Telling off a big-mouthed traitor isn’t worth it to me. Instead, I’m expressing my thoughts here. I still believe I am meant for something better and this is one step on the road to getting there. I’m leaving those people behind, keeping my eyes focused on the future, holding the hands of those who want to be by my side and forgetting those who clearly don’t.
Rosh Hashanah approaches and in the New Year, I’m going to continue being me, loving more, living, appreciating and climbing. Life is too good to let it pass by unnoticed.