The universe decided I had a lesson to learn.
I tell people I love them a lot. You may have noticed, it’s kinda my thing. I also often tell the people I care about that I consider them family. It’s something I’ve done for years without a second thought until recently.
My friend asked if we could talk for a few minutes and went on to disclose that my suggestion that I consider them family made them nervous. Sure, the knee-jerk “What do you mean? I didn’t say anything wrong!” thoughts popped up, but they were instantly replaced with “Thank you for sharing this with me; I know it wasn’t easy.”
They helped me understand that they have a history of the people they considered family walking out of their life. It wasn’t – it isn’t – about me at all, which means there’s nothing for me to be defensive about. It is absolutely possible to say things with the best of intentions only to inadvertently hurt someone. That doesn’t make anyone ‘wrong’, it makes us human.
I asked my friend how I can best support them while they work through the trauma that I brought to the surface. What an important lesson for me – a reminder that even the things we say with the best of intentions are subject to interpretation. Let’s be mindful that we can’t control how others interpret our words.
Never forget that I love you, and that excludes no one.