I had a falling out with a friend who I felt mistreated me and betrayed me when I was in a time of need. They had been verbally and mentally abusive towards me. However, I have always felt the friendship was unhealthy and toxic, ever since we met. Many hurtful words have been exchanged between us, and we were constantly fighting. Now all I feel is bitterness and hatred towards them. How do I heal from an abusive friendship and deal with my unresolved anger?
Thank you for your question. Here is a beautiful poem taken from Whispers from Eternity by Paramhansa Yogananda that can be very soothing to read and reread. These are words to aspire to when you think about finding true friends, replacing hurtful relationships. Think about these words. As they become real to you, your magnetism will increase and you will attract just such beautiful soul friends to your life.
Is friendship the weaving of the red strings of two hearts?
Is it the blending of two minds into a spacious one-mind?
Is it the spouting of love founts together-
To strengthen the rush of love on droughty souls?
Is it the one rose grown ‘twixt twin mind-branchlets
Of one compassionate stem?
Is it the one thinking in two bodies?
Or, is it like two strong stallions,
Disparate in color and mien,
Pulling the chariot of life together
To the single goal with one mind sight?
Is friendship founded on equalities or inequalities?
Is it built on diverse stones of differences?
Is friendship the unthinkingly agreeing,
The hand in hand, blind walking of two souls,
Foolishly rejoicing in their united folly,
Falling at last into a pit of disillusionment?
Friendship is noble, fruitful, holy-
When two separate souls march in difference
Yet in harmony, agreeing and disagreeing,
Glowingly improving diversely,
With one common longing to find solace in true pleasure.
When ne’er the lover seeks
Self-comfort at cost of the one beloved,
Then, in that garden of selflessness
Fragrant friendship perfectly flowers.
For friendship is a hybrid, born of two souls,
The blended fragrance of two unlike flowers
Blown together in love’s caressing breeze.
Friendship is born from the very core
Of secret inexplicable likings,
Friendship is the fountain of true feelings
Friendship grows in both likeness and difference.
Friendship sleeps or dies in familiarity,
And decays in lusts of narrow-eyed selves.
Friendship grows tall and sturdy
In the soil of oneness in body, mind, and soul.
Demands, deceptions, sordid sense of possession,
Courtesy’s lack, narrow self-love, suspicion,
These are cankers which eat at the heart of friendship,
Ah, friendship! Flowering, heaven-born plant!
Nurtured art thou in the soil of measureless love,
In the seeking of soul-progress together
By two who would smooth the way each for the other.
And thou art watered by attention of affection
And the tender dews of inner and outer sweetness
Of the inmost, selfless heart’s devotion,
Ah, friendship! Where thy soul-born flowers fall –
There, on that sacred shrine of fragrance,
The Friend of all friends craves to come and remain!
Here are some more thoughts that may help guide you to find true friends and happiness.
Concentrate on deepening your own spiritual life and praying for your friends that have treated you badly. That they may become receptive to ways that improve their behavior. This will bring you peace at the same time. Engaging with more exchange or confrontation does not solve anything. When they see the peace and change that positivity has made in your life, they may be more respectful and honor who you are and the choices you have made for self-improvement and well-being. Give them space to be who they are now, but hold on to the peace in your own heart. Do not reach out to them as some healing needs to take place. Is it possible not to be in their presence and to look elsewhere for friendship?
Who they are will not be your problem. In truth, it is theirs. Do your best to release and let go. You can develop inner strength, magnetism and centeredness. To remain serene will dissipate your anger.
This situation is also given to you for a good reason. It comes to you as a lesson with something to resolve in yourself for your further growth. Building inner strength and magnetism, and accepting your own needs for peace and joy — these are possibly your needed lesson. As you let go of the anger and judgement they arouse in you, then fill your heart with thoughts and your aura with increasing love, forgiveness, acceptance and understanding toward these misguided friends. As these heart qualities grow and blossom in you, the situation will automatically dissolve. Light dissolves darkness.
Also, aspire to find new friends as is portrayed in the above beautiful poem of Yogananda’s. Look elsewhere for the fulfillment of true friends. Life may be asking you to increase your love, in all situations, while becoming strong in yourself. Above all, talk to God about the hurt in your heart and give it all to Him. He likes that and will send you the grace to heal and move on. Just pray in language of your heart and love God.
Many blessings on your efforts,