“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.” Steve Maraboli
Last night I was due to have a meal out with one of my oldest friends. As our appointed hour of meeting drew closer I began to get a fluttering feeling in my stomach. Was I excited? No, the feeling was dread. I knew exactly how the evening would pan out (much the same as every other meeting over the past couple of years). We would meet. We would talk about her for three hours. I would pay the bill as “you wouldn’t believe how crazy my outgoing have been this month”. We would leave.
Recognising that this had turned into a toxic, one-sided relationship was sad but letting go of people who do not nourish your authentic self is an essential part of self-love. Healthy relationships allow both parties to grow and change. It is a natural progression that some friendships will dissipate to make way for new friends who inspire and nourish us.
Friendships are the same as any relationship, there will be ups and downs, times when one party has to support the other through hard times and times when we may feel joy and sorrow. However, if you find you are constantly compromising your happiness for the people around you it may be time to ask yourself the following questions: –
1) How do you feel when you think about seeing this person? How do you feel when you are with them? Is your friendship all about what you can offer them or do you feel loved and supported?
2) Are you on the same path? People join us on our journey with similar ideals but as we move ever forward recognise that we may have learned/taught all that was needed. The friendship may have come to its natural end and that’s ok. You cannot grow and not lose people along the way.
3) Do you feel any resentment? If you friend is no longer acting the way they used to or in a way you like it can be natural to feel a degree of resentment. Holding onto bitterness is self-damaging. Forgive them for not being the friend you want, free yourself of any guilt and move on.
4) Are you fruitlessly pursuing this friendship? Remember it takes two to make a friendship work. If you are the only one trying to keep in touch and arrange meetings it may be time to look at why. Friendships should flow and if you are the only one putting effort in it may be time to take a step back.
5) Are you relying on friends to make you feel a certain way? There is nothing like a good night out with friends to give you a lift but remember ultimately you are responsible for your own happiness. Look within rather than externally to find what you need.
Ultimately you know in your heart when it’s time to walk away. Letting go doesn’t mean you don’t care anymore but that you love yourself more.
First published on MindBodyGreen