Hi, blog community! I have not written in almost three months. My last blog was July 17. (Yikes!) I hate to go long intervals without writing, but hey, that’s life. Shit happens.
Cutting straight to the point, I’ve been going through some thangs. (Yes, I spelled that how I meant to- thangs.) Adulthood is full of challenges. Job setbacks and disappointments. Car troubles. And one of the most painful of all- dealing with the end of friendships and relationships.
Have you ever lost a best friendship? If you are post-grad age (lets say 22 or 23) or older, then I will assume yes. It’s tough, right?! Long story short, I had a close friendship end in the most drawn out, television drama-esque way earlier this year. Yet, it was not until recently, (actually right after returning to America from Italy in May) that the hurt set in. That the reality of this friendship loss was felt.
So here I am, processing the end of a five-year friendship with someone who I thought would be a forever friend. The person I thought would be standing next to me on my wedding day. It hurts a lot. I rotate between frustration, anger, hurt and sadness but not once do I question that it needed to end. Now, I am left with the process of asking questions on what can I learn from this and how do I let it go.
I know that just because this friendship ended does not make it a failure, and it certainly does not make me a failure. Also, just because a friendship or relationship ends does not mean there was not love on both sides. But sometimes, you have to love people from a distance and always you must love them with open hands.
This friendship, my closest friendship, meant so much to me, but it became unhealthy for both parties. To be more specific, the friendship was no longer life-giving, and it was taking more than it gave. It needed to end. It taught me so much about myself, strengths and weaknesses. It also taught me to let go. I am still in the process of letting it go and learning how to do that exactly, but hey, I am a work in progress. Another thing it taught me- to show grace to myself and others.
So here’s a letter to myself and to anyone struggling to let go of a friendship or relationship that has become unhealthy:
This is how it should be. Here we are, just you and I. Here to do the work of mending this tear in your heart. It’s more than a tear though.
It started as a crack long ago. Left untended, it has splintered in time. Like an unhealed wound, it has festered, and now, we are here to do the work to disinfect it. To rest. To evaluate. To change. To move forward. To unravel. To let go. To grow.
Cry those tears, mama. You deserve the space and room you need to grieve this.
You wonder how we got here, but we know. By wanting a friendship and the validation of another person so much so that you ignored your inner voice, that inner knowing that said time and time again it wasn’t right.
By hoping against all signs of reality. By putting your hope in the shaky ground of another person’s soul.
The best way to love others is with open hands. The only way to love others well is by first loving yourself with grace, dignity, acceptance and forgiveness.
Forgive and forget. It’s time to forgive and forget this friendship. Dare in fact I say, it’s healthy to do so. We can’t stay stuck here, you and I. We must pack our bags with an audacious courage. No more looking back on what was or holding things with closed fists. After all, isn’t surrender the sweet currency from which life flows?
Your heart will heal in time. Repeat- Your heart will heal. You will be OK. This friendship, the death of it, did not kill you.
You lost what you thought was a friend, but in the process, you gained yourself. Your sweet, optimistic, brave, confident, beautiful self. That is a victory. You stumbled but you found your feet, and here you are, as bright as can be. This is not the end sweet girl.
Never be angry for the process because it is your process. This could be the greatest teacher on confidence, on friendship, on identity, on letting go, on life and love that you will ever learn, if you allow it to be.
Keep hoping sweet girl. Your story is not finished yet.
Twenty-Something Advice (for Anybody):
“You get what you deserve when you know how much you are worth.”
To all the people who have dealt with a friendship ending, keep going. Your heart is more resilient than you know.