The God Pile (#6)

I have been told that one should avoid religion and politics at all costs in your blogs, yet I’m a rebel! (Insert maniacal laugh here).  No, really, I’m just kidding. “The God Pile” is actually just a phrase that I use for boundary lines.  

See, there have been many people in my life that were great people, mind you.  But, the choices that they made, over and over, were less than healthy.  Unquestionably, they had an addiction to drama.  I was not one to judge others for participating in drama because I had a predilection for it myself.  However, as I worked on my own issues, I came to recognize the difference between healthy problems versus drama.  More importantly, I learned to create boundary lines with others’ unhealthy behavior because their drama only derailed my efforts; hence, the creation of my “God Pile.”   

Look, at one time or another, most of us have made choices in relationships, jobs, travel, family, friendships, etc. that were not in our best interest.  In hindsight, there were signs, but our hearts overlooked the red flags and we carried on anyway.  When I refer to my friends who were attracted to drama, I was not talking about the occasional offense nor was I referring to the unavoidable heartache such as illness and death.  What I was talking about were the friends who were repeat offenders of bad choices and seemed to have constant emotional crisis after emotional crisis.   

You may have had this type of friend.  They were the ones that you dreaded calling because you knew that it would be a forty minute rant on the latest imposition in their life. Usually, they began with the courteous, “how are you?” Yet, their hearts were not interested in the answer; it was simply a ploy so that you’d ask in return and then, they would launch into their latest catastrophe.

My therapist referred to these friends as emotional vampires because they sucked me dry with their problems.  I didn’t see it at first, but as I began to resolve my own unhealthy behavior, I started noticing how their rants drained me, emotionally.  Listening to them felt like a burden.  That’s when I asked myself the most pivotal question, “How could I possibly fix myself when I had no energy to do so?”  I couldn’t! 

The most difficult part of my growth was how angry I felt at my friends and their problems.  Whereas I once patiently listened, now, I’d snap at them.  Resentment set in like cement.  They weren’t doing anything different, per say.  It was me who was different.

Because I was changing, obviously, my relationships needed to change.  It was hard for my drama oriented friends to accept my growth especially when they, themselves, were stuck in their own emotional ruts.  I tried to explain how taxing their drama had become, but they merely justified their behavior.  I actually had one friend turn the tables on me.  Taking an offensive approach, she accused me of “Being insensitive because not everyone can readily accept people’s advice.  They needed to learn it for themselves.”

It was then that I realized she didn’t have a friendship with me.  Her relationship was with her dysfunction and I was merely a means to an end.  Exhausted, I bluntly stated, “Same issues, different day.  After a decade of this, when do you start doing something different?”  My friend replied, rather self-righteously, “Not everyone is like you!”  I sighed, “The only difference between you and me is honesty.  You no longer know what that is, my dear friend and that makes me sad for you.” 

I knew that my anger helped no one.  In fact, it caused more damage than good.  Clearly, it was time to walk away and so one by one, I began to sever my harmful connections. 

My anger had its purpose.  It created the distance that I needed to cut the unhealthy from my life.  As soon as I freed myself of their drama, I felt happier, lighter, more care free.  That’s a definite indication of exactly how detrimental these emotional vampires were, but I harbored no ill will.  I was just as responsible as they were for the damage done. 

I still loved them and wanted the best for them.  This never changed.  I simply had to start loving myself and doing right by me.  This was how the God Pile came into being.  It wasn’t about judging my friends.  Instead, I had to judge what was helpful in my life versus what was destructive. 

When my friendships came to a point where my resentment outweighed my love, I’d place them in my God pile.  In non-denominational terms, this ideology had more to do with love and compassion rather than punishment.  The God pile was my way of surrendering dysfunctional relationships unto a Higher Power.  There was no regret, no anger, and no resentment; all that’s left was hope and in my humble opinion, that’s the best gift you could offer anyone.