Question: Masters, my oldest friend and I have come to a parting of the ways (after 40 yrs) because, while my sons were visiting her in the United States, another friend told her something bad about them which was not true. She chose to believe the other friend and I choose to believe my sons. Hurt and anger and betrayal ensued. I have withdrawn from my best friend and totally rejected the other friend. I cannot deal with her as long as she accepts the other friend’s words as truth. ~Sara, Oman
ANSWER: Everybody creates their own truth based upon their perspective. It is very difficult when distance separates friends both geographically and emotionally. You are a mother bear protecting her cubs against the world. First, your cubs are large enough and strong enough to protect themselves. Second, there is more to your reaction than just taking sides with one friend or another.
You feel cut off by distance and lack of regular contact. You have some jealousy for those able to be together sharing the same space. The hurt, anger, and betrayal have much more depth than this one misunderstanding. These are emotions that you have been hiding just under the surface. They emerge when you feel anything that seems to be like them, or to which you respond with strong negativity. Stop and ask yourself what the underlying feelings are that make you feel hurt or angry. When you go into these feelings you will see they have little to do with this one event.
What was said or believed makes no difference unless you allow it to have energy. Your truth, what you know about your boys, will not change. A person’s truth when things are seen from another angle can differ greatly and yet be about the same observations. You cannot force others to believe what you believe unless they choose to do so. This does not mean that everything about your past relationship must be thrown out and disregarded. Simply agree to disagree while you remember all the good times and what your friend truly means to you.