A Rug Taught Me About Friendship

I recently completed a hooked rug for a friend of mine.  The rug actually is called Friends in the Making.  It took me a very long time to make the rug.  The person I was making the rug for became my room mate for several years, is my best friend, and has been a large part of my life for at least 7 lifetimes that I can remember.  We taught each other many things, especially over the past 2 – 2 1/2 years.  He has been going through a lot of turmoil, and I have had my down periods as well.  We each were less than friendly to one another – it was border line torture on both our parts, each behaving badly to the other in many ways, and just generally being unkind to one another.  I chalk it up to stress on both our parts, but it was really more than that.  Here is the rug.

It normally takes me only several months to complete a 32 X 30 rug such as this one, however, this one took me more than 3 years to complete.  I couldn’t work on it when I was angry with him.  I wanted every loop of the rug to be filled with love, not negative emotions.  So I could only work on it when I could put love into the rug.  Which means, that during some of those awful times, there were period when things were good between us.  One of the hardest parts about doing this rug was watching his face every birthday, every Christmas, or other special day that we shared between us, come and go, with no rug as a present.  He knew that that meant, I was still angry with him.  He was so over joyed when I gave it to him this past summer as a house warming present in his new home.  He opened it, hugged me, teared up a bit and said he was glad to get the rug, glad that I had forgiven him enough to work on it and finish it.  To him the rug had become a barometer of how well or how badly the friendship was going.

I learned alot about myself, about him, and about friendship through the making of this rug.  I had blamed him for the decline in the friendship, but through the hooking I came to discover that I was behaving as badly as he was, but for different reasons.  I won’t disclose his reasons, they are personal, but for me I had fallen into a victim role.  Things were not going well at work, they weren’t going great at home living in the same apartment with him, where in many ways I was being used as an emotional punching bag to release the pain he was going through, and we were each making the other’s issues all about us.  He made my issues all about him, and I made his issues all about me.  Both of us in too much pain to get out of our own way, let alone get out of  each others.  He eventually moved out, and the stress was relieved a little for both of us.  I move to another province and really put some distance between us.  Only then did we begin to talk again, the way we used to sitting in the kitchen chatting for days and days.

So many life lessons came out of this experience for me – how to be a good friend, how to accept responsibility for your own actions, how to allow others the same luxuary, how to forgive – not only others but yourself as well, and much more.  I am so glad that I only worked on the rug at times when I could love him.  It has made the rug a more beautiful piece of work.  The truth is, I always loved him, but at times hated myself.  That is what really kept me from hooking.

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