A friend recently told me he was having a hard time and wondered if I would have a drink with him. “Sure,” I said. We agreed to meet at 7:00 at a local restaurant. When I arrived, he wasn’t there so I checked my phone. There was a message from him saying he had been absorbed in his work and was just leaving. I called him back and said, “So twenty minutes?”
“Sure,” he said.
I went in and got us a table and settled in. By 7:30 he still wasn’t there so I ordered a glass of wine.
At 8:00, the older man to the left of me who was dining with his wife said, “I can’t stand this. Are you waiting for a date? Did you meet him on the internet?”
“Not on the internet. Um, sort of a date. He’s a friend from a school who asked me out.”
“What time was he supposed to be here?” (I tell him.) “What? That’s an hour ago! I have daughters and granddaughters and I can’t stand to see women treated like this. You do know you deserve more than this, right?”
He asked me why I was still at the restaurant waiting. I didn’t really have an answer.
The man went on to reiterate my worth and said he was going to punch my friend when he arrived. He insisted that I dine with he and his wife and also insisted on buying me dinner. It was shocking and beautiful and lovely all at the same time. When my friend finally arrived at around 8:15, I was drinking wine, laughing with my new friends/benefactors and eating my soup.
The man didn’t punch my friend but he did read him the riot act.
When we parted ways, I told the man with tears in my eyes, “I am going to be vulnerable with you. I don’t have a father who treats me like you just did. In fact, I have never had a man do that. This experience has been very healing for me. Thank you.”
He was warm and caring and appreciated my words. We hugged good-bye.
I went on to dine with my friend and we talked for a long time about programming and patterns we carry with us. I told him I felt like he and I had met that day and explored our own patterns together: His of putting himself in situations where his poor management of time means him asking for forgiveness or acceptance a lot and mine of being overly forgiving and understanding and being taken for granted. I told him I have a lifelong experience of people not showing up on time, not respecting my time, blowing me off, etc. I told him that I have allowed that and I needed to own that. I also told him that I forgave him but that it wasn’t going to happen again. It was very, very good for my soul.
I honestly feel as if the internal work I’ve been doing brought this experience to me. It’s as though the older man is a mirror of the Benevolent Father I have been cultivating within myself. I feel that he handed me a sword that day and encouraged me to take back my power. I have truthfully never had a man say those things. I don’t feel like I need anyone to say it anymore, either. I can just live it out, know my own worth and look for people who reflect that back to me.
At the end of the day, our worth is an intrinsic thing and the how the world treats us is a good barometer of that.
Times they are a-changin’.