Friendship. Divine Love and Lessons Learned.

I believe Divine Love allows; it accepts us for who we are, giving us space to evolve. I also believe it’s important that we offer this love to ourselves before others. This is something I’ve been trying to put into practice; therefore, not only have I offered Divine Love to myself, I work to offer it to those I care about. What I didn’t account for was how it could be perceived by others. If you read my “Favorite White Boy of All” post a few weeks back, then you know I have a Cute White Man that I call my friend. A friendship I value and am grateful for because it allowed me to practice how to offer Divine Love to someone without demanding something in return.

When I met him, he was trying to get over a bad break up; I was already in a relationship so our friendship wasn’t built on the possibility of romance. The closer we became, I began to worry that I’d repeat the cycle of crushing on someone who didn’t feel the same way. Meanwhile, Source was teaching me the transformative power of Divine Love and I knew I loved him because I just did. Thing is, it wasn’t romantic. It was just there–kind of like how Source loved me. I didn’t want anything in return; I just felt compelled to love him, but I was terrified that it would turn romantic and I’d be crushed in the end like so many times before. I had a choice: I could stop being his friend in fear that I’d get hurt or I could trust Souce to keep me safe and love him with all my heart because why not. I chose to trust Source and love him. 

Recently, he and I were FaceTiming because he’s out of the country for work. During the conversation he kept coughing, and since we’re in Covid-times I asked, “What’s that cough about?”

He replied, “Oh, it’s a side effect from the high blood pressure medicine I’m on.”

Cue the record scratch.

“What? What high blood pressure medicine? When did you get on that?”

“About three weeks ago. My BP’s through the roof so the doctor prescribed it.”

He’s 43. I was shocked by how casual he was about the whole thing. I immediately went into loving-friend mode. I thought it was ridiculous that his doctor would prescribe medicine before trying to get his BP down naturally, like offering some sort of 60 day get-your-shit-together-before-I-put-you-on-meds type of trial. I eat plant-based and it helped lower my BP so I suggested that and the obvious: he should take a break from his high-stress job. He didn’t really wanna hear me so I changed the subject but I couldn’t get it off my mind.

After we hung up, I Googled “How to lower blood pressure without medication” and all these lists popped up. The next day I emailed him. Before I sent him my list of things he could try, I prefaced the letter with how much I loved and cared about him. I thought if I made it clear that the email was from a place of love that maybe he’d try some of my (ok, Mayo Clinics’s) suggestions.

After I explained that I loved and cared for him, I hit him with the list. I included some real suggestions like eating better and working out and I added a few of my own for grins and giggles. Like talk to your plant, play more guitar, and sleep-in–stuff like that. At the end of the letter I let him know that I cared for him and if he chose to disregard the whole list it would be okay because I loved and supported him.

He responded thanking me for my suggestions and explained how he knew he needed to change his lifestyle and how difficult it was going to be. Awesome, great! Then he addressed my love for him. He said that love came with romantic hopes and asked me outright if I had romantic feelings for him. That was fine but he didn’t stop there, he proceeded to tell me that he, under no circumstances, had any romantic feelings for me and that–

Yeah, I couldn’t keep reading because what the entire fuck?!

I’m going to be honest, friends. I felt sick to my stomach. It was like getting a rejection letter from a job I didn’t apply for. Like, damn, it’s like that? I didn’t even apply for the job! Tears stung my eyes as I politely responded, telling him that I didn’t have romantic feelings for him and that I didn’t want anything from him but to be well. After that, I grabbed my keys and got in my car. I drove and drove, crying and screaming out to Source.

“Why did you do this to me? See, I told you I’d get hurt in the end. Just like all the other times. I don’t even want him romantically, but here I am, getting fucking rejected!”

I couldn’t stop images of my past from flashing before my eyes. Like a movie montage, I saw rejection and hurt; fear that I was too fat, and Black to be loved; I saw my constantly broken heart and lots of tears. Old feelings of unworthiness and not enoughness washed over me. It was awful. So very awful.

Thankfully, the next day my feelings of humiliation receded. I felt around my heart for broken pieces, but there weren’t any. And that morning as I journaled, I realized I wasn’t devastated. Hurt, yes. Shocked and disappointed, of course. But shattered? No. Source kept me safe as I chose to love someone with my whole heart, wanting nothing in return. 

You know, I can’t say I never entertained a romantic thought about my friend, but after a while I realized Divine Love was way more important to our friendship than romantic longing. I really enjoyed being a loving friend to him. I had a blast talking to him, buying gifts, sending random dad-jokes or getting him to read a romance novel. It was refreshing to be my warm, loving self around him. 

I never intended for my love to be perceived as romantic or threatening. My intention was to be his friend and as I did that, I felt compelled to love him. Sometimes people are put in our lives when we need cheering up or a gentle reminder that we are seen, appreciated and valued. I chose to be that person for him because why not. Perhaps I should’ve asked him first. Either way, I didn’t want anything in return because I trusted Source to love and keep me safe. I didn’t need him to love me because I was already loved. Maybe that’s something I should’ve articulated to him in the beginning. I don’t know.

I’m not sure how or if we’ll move forward in our friendship. While I love him, I definitely can’t look him in the eyes without feeling humiliated. I mean, I’m still human, and rejection, even if no offer was made, still sucks. I guess we’ll see how it goes but I’ll say this: I don’t regret being a loving friend. I don’t regret trusting Source with my heart and I’m hopeful for a future where Divine Love from me will be seen as special instead of a threat.

All my love,

Chantell Monique

P.S. I removed the “Favorite White Boy of All” post because I’m humiliated. I wrote that piece thinking I’d found a great friend–one that saw me and my love for what it was. I can’t say that today. I’ll try to be stronger next time and allow this blog to reflect the ups and downs of my life. Until then it has been permanently removed.

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