My hands started shaking and my cheeks turned red.
This was not happening!
Unfortunately, it was. He had unfriended me on Facebook.
Big deal, you will say. It happens all the time. But to me, this unfriend meant so much more than having one less person on my list.
It was the end of a three-month intense friendship that had recently moved from the virtual life into the real world, and of a professional partnership. It also implied a financial loss since I had a non-refundable airplane ticket to a destination where nobody expected me anymore. Feelings of being betrayed, taken for granted, reduced to a grain of dust took hold of me.
The question mark appeared red and tall in front of me, stopping my evening run, forcing me down on a bench, making me rewind the near past.
Reading the signs
He knew me.
I had no idea he existed.
He had had a crush on me in his early twenties. I was just discovering this enigmatic, Collin Farrell looking-like guy.
Apparently, this time, the crush was on me.
A friend request and a short message turned instantly into daily conversations. We talked about music and our teenage years and life and purpose and happiness and the city where we were born and grew up. We said good morning and goodnight. When he told me that the next time I travel to his adoptive country I could crash at his place, I opened the Internet browser to look up for an airplane ticket.
Hearts and emoticons slowly showed up in our conversations.
He was constantly reaching out to me, knew when sadness or anger crept into my soul.
A professional project was born. He was there for me during the launch of my first self-published book. I was waking up and falling asleep with a smile on my face.
Of course, there were signs. They always are. Occasional mood swings. Constantly changing the Facebook profile picture. A legion of female fans.
At some point, early in March, right after placing the order for the airplane ticket, my intuition told me that something was terribly wrong. The last thing I wanted was to cross the Ocean just to make a fool of myself. The next day I canceled it and got a full refund. I told him that the airline couldn’t issue the ticket because of a system error. He seemed pretty disappointed yet confident that in a two-month time, he would pick me up from the airport.
He was right. I bought another ticket, at a better price, and stuck with the initial plan.
Riding the pendulum swing
Finally, the big day arrived.
He waited for me as he promised.
A fugitive, awkward hug, that was our first contact. Yet he was sweet and caring. He took me to the beach and later we went shopping for food like old friends. We kept our distance until the next day’s evening. The chemistry between us was high. The morning after I felt great.
But then I noticed he had failed to make coffee before leaving for work (as he had done the previous day).
As out of place as it may seem, I felt terrible. I felt used and tossed away. That was just the beginning.
The rest of the week I spent with him turned into a pendulum swing from agony to bliss. Where was the A.G. I knew back home, all self-confidence, balance, optimism, and joy?
Who was this unsure and demanding girl?
Who was this person with a sad face and a frown? Why was she making scenes instead of being assertive? Why was she having expectations instead of letting herself be surprised? Why was she acting as if all her spiritual knowledge had been erased?
The answers hold up yet I knew that this was not just my intuition at work.
When thunder strikes
We didn’t make any promises when the departure day arrived. He didn’t tell me I hope we meet again soon. I kind of knew I had blown it big time. I had failed to be authentic. But I clung on to the words he spoke when he saw the tears on my cheeks: you can come back whenever you want. And hoped.
After my return home, we kept in touch.
Our conversations were not as lively and long as before but at least we were saying good morning.
One week and a new airplane ticket later, the first clash of thunder struck.
He simply stopped talking to me. He would reply to my messages but unlike before, he would not initiate a conversation.
The second clash of thunder occurred a week later when he admitted that he had been in an on-and-off relationship with another woman from our country. She was in trouble and she needed his moral support. Yet, I was still to go and visit him the second time as we had agreed.
The third clash of thunder, the one that was keeping me glued to the bench that day, instead of running: without any warning, without having a fight, he had unfriended me on Facebook. Our main communication channel.
“Why? What kind of person are you?” I punched in the messenger chat window as I started walking. It was Sunday early morning in the US yet he was up and replied right away. No excuses, only reproof and complaints about his poor financial situation.
The kind of energy-eating drama that I thought it belonged in my past. The more we talked, the angrier I was. I also felt a kind of masochistic joy. This exchange of low energy was recreating a bond between us. In a weird way, the situation seemed unreal. You know, like a volcano explosion in a movie. Being face to face would have taken the heat off right away. Yet I ended the conversation telling him I hoped we never meet again.
Surviving the “unfriend” tragedy
I lied. I cannot be mad at him. On the contrary, I care about him deeply. Are students ever mad at their teachers?
Here are the lessons I learned:
1. We can not ask other people to be honest with us as long as we are dishonest. Not only to them but to ourselves as well.
2. Nobody will truly love us unless we love ourselves. Self-love is accompanied by other gifts: self-confidence, assertiveness, compassion, and understanding. It helps us see our uniqueness and stop compare ourselves to other people.
3.Let go of control and expectations. Yes, we can set intentions and objectives but we need to trust the Universe to support them. In most cases, the outcome will be so much more than what we expect.
4. Never, ever, ignore your intuition. Intuition always knows what’s best for our growth and us.
5. Live from a place of love. Love attracts more love. Had I lived our encounter from a place of love, instead of a place of fear (of not being good or beautiful enough, of being lied to or losing him), things would have been different. Or perhaps we would have never met.
Under the circumstances, he had to appear in my life.
That handsome and kind and passionate man I was dreaming of. Put a mirror in front of me. Show me those unresolved issues I needed to address. Awaken my inner dormant call for growth and expansion. Inspire me to be better.
Do you want to know how this story ends? It’s hard to tell, it is still a work in progress. I am a work in progress.
A.G. Billig believes that love is your natural state of being. Since fear and love cannot coexist in one heart, her mission is to empower you to overcome your fears and attract the life you want with love. Pick up her Amazon best seller “I CHOOSE LOVE!” here and learn more about her work at the Project of Love.