Walking Away From a Friendship . . . (Part 2)
Life has handed me so many lessons. At the time, I may not understand them, but they eventually come into focus when the time is right. Ending a friendship is one of those lessons. What I learned is that not all people are meant to be in your life forever. Every friendship has a purpose. I categorize friendships into 3 different purposes; reason, season and lifetime. I’m sure you’ve heard these before (probably in a quote), so know I’m not claiming them as my own. I’m just explaining how I define and use them. I learned to look back after a friendship has ended and reflect on it. After going through my grieving process and being mad and upset that it had to end, I gently place that friendship in the correct category.
If that person was sent to me for a specific reason, I can look back and see exactly why they were stationed in my life. This may take some deep thought, but the answer will surface eventually. Maybe the reason was to teach me something about myself or about my life. Or to be there for each other in a happy or difficult time. Maybe to guide me or them in a certain direction. Whatever the reason, that was the purpose of their friendship. And I have to be okay with that.
If the person was sent to me for a season, it’s usually a little more involved. Maybe to be my companion through a particular period in my life. Or to teach me a valuable lesson about myself in relationships. Maybe to use one another to grow into better people. You think you’re going to be friends forever, but you forget that people change. People will grow together and other times grow apart. You are friends for a certain period of time, but that time has to come to an end. Once one person or both people change, the friendship no longer makes sense. But I can learn to be grateful and happy for all the wonderful times we spent together. Even though it may have ended badly, that doesn’t have to be the only thing I think about when I think of them. And to be real, it takes me a while to get here. But I’m okay with that. My feelings and emotions are mine and no one else’s.
Then you have those people who are sent to you for the long haul—those forever friendships. The friendships that have the soul (incorrect but purposeful use of the word 😉) purpose of being there for my lifetime. These are the ones that will feed and nourish me for the rest of my life. You know who you are! They are few and far between but when I find them, I never let them go. These are the people who stand in my corner no matter what I do or who I become. They know and love me for me, and there isn’t anything that can keep them away. They are there for all the beautiful and fun stuff, but they stick around for the real, raw and dirty stuff too. We may have some disagreements (we’re all human), but we work that shit out because our friendship is far greater than pride, opinions, or mistakes. These are the friendships that push through it all because their purpose is to be that constant through the rest of my life. If you have some people like this, raise your glass of rosé and let’s cheers to them!!
After a friendship has ended and the dust has settled, I remind myself to stay open. Because once one door closes, another one always opens. And as sad as it is that someone has exited my life, I know that someone else is going to enter. Someone I will share laughs and meaningful conversations with. Someone I will love hard and keep high expectations for. Because I never know if they are there for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. And as they are sent to play out their role in my life, I will try and remain grateful for them and their purpose.
Have you ever had to walk away from a friendship? What did you learn about yourself?