High school reunions are unique experiences. Some people scoff at the idea of attending one and ask why someone would want to go back and see people who were a part of your life for only a few short years a long time ago. Maybe these people are still wrestling with the demons of the past and harbor old issues that so-and-so was stuck up and they were a jock or a cheerleader or whatever. Their hearts are still filled with anger and resentment. Ironically it is they who end up suffering.
To forgive is divine. That is so true.
This past weekend I attended my 20th high school reunion. It was such a wonderful experience and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Some people claim (and maybe it is true for them - I don't know) that those people aren't a part of your life anymore so what does it matter. I disagree. Those people will always be a part of my life no matter how often I see them. Some of them are especially important to me and I only wish we had reunions more often!
This reunion was significant for me because I'd decided beforehand that I was going to let go of all the old grudges I'd been holding against people for things they did (or I perceived) when we were children. Maybe it is because of my relatively new relationship with God. I don't know. But I just felt really strongly that I didn't want to hold on to those negative feelings anymore.
There were three people specifically that I needed to forgive and open my heart to. One was the varsity cheerleader who was my best friend in elementary school but then had nothing to do with me once we got into junior and senior high. I'd hated her for the way she cut me off. But this weekend I had a long conversation with her and she and I both agreed that those high school hierarchies were a stupid waste of time and we both regretted it. We laughed over memories of playing together when we were 8 years old. Suddenly the last 30 years were gone and my heart was so much lighter.
I had another similar incident. In junior high I had a friend for a couple of months and then suddenly something happened and she told me she didn't want to be my friend anymore. But she wouldn't tell me exactly what had happened to make her feel this way. We never spoke again and I was always hurt and felt betrayed. At the homecoming football game this weekend I spoke to her about the fact that our sons both play junior football together. We reconnected and were able to have a good time together all weekend. I never did ask about why she'd done what she'd done because at this point it doesn't even matter. I've moved past it.
There was one more person who I really wanted to resolve things with but she ended up not showing up. Lots of issues there. I have a feeling she might still be worrying about what other people think and maybe that kept her away. I don't know. I hope that at some point we do manage to get together and clear the air.
Finally, because I'd opened my heart to a lot of these people for the first time, I was able to see them differently. I suddenly realized that these "popular" people had been consumed with their own issues of who was "better" than whom. I realized that there seems (or seemed maybe) to be a rift among the cheerleaders and lots of resentment going on there. Until this weekend I'd been so wrapped up in my own issues that I hadn't even seen it. But I realized that certain people didn't talk much to certain other people. I can only hope that by the 25th reunion these people can do what I've done and let all that silliness go.
And of course, the best part of the weekend was getting to see my best friends again. They are such a blessing to my life!
Labels: My Spiritual Search