Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.
― Muhammad Ali
I recently lost contact with two people who I categorised as friends, one of whom I’ve known all my life. The other, I met a few years ago but no matter where in the world any of us were, we kept in touch over the years. To say I was bothered by it would be untrue, but it made me think, why was I not bothered by losing friendships that were once important enough to maintain for so many years? This brought me back to my own self, I know that not everyone is meant to continue your journey with you, some people are only meant to travel with you part of the way, once their time has ended, the ties are either severed by choice or circumstance. This is the truth that left me unbothered by their loss.
It’s important to foster healthy relationships, however, I feel that as we mature, with age, time and life teach us what’s important to hold on to and what to let go. Ten years ago, I would have grieved this loss. Spent precious time trying to repair the connection, only to have it severed again over some trivial action by myself of the other party. I know because it’s happened before and it always ended the same, with my wondering what I had done wrong. Now, I’m old enough to know better. When life remove people from our lives and we’re not ready for them to leave, we spend precious time trying to reconnect with that person. In doing so, life continues to break the connection, until it becomes so uncomfortable or painful for us to hold on, that we’re forced to let go.
For the numerous people who have been removed from my life, I’ve gained new relationships that are not only stable but also more sustainable. These people don’t force me to walk on eggshells, I can speak my truth without fear of offending and vice versa. I don’t have to think twice before speaking for fear of being misunderstood. There’s no obligation to check in because even if we haven’t spoken in days, or even weeks. The conversation flows! Losing contact with old relations also leaves more time to foster relationships that were pushed to the side. Just this past week, I received an unexpected call from a friend back home, we have kept in touch over the years but she’s one of those persons who you can not speak to in 12 months and pick up where you left off 12 months ago. Definitely a friendship worth keeping. She fed my soul and gave me more than a dozen reasons to smile.
Pinned Message: As we get older we may think it’s harder to maintain relationships, but the fact of the matter is, we become more conscious of how valuable our time is. We become more aware of what we crave and realise that any relationship that we don’t have to work hard to maintain feeds the soul! If you have to constantly feed someone’s ego, it’s not a relationship worth having. Let it go!
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©Etta D. Richards