Breaking up (with a friend) is hard to do
I was recently contacted by one of my readers for some advice on a situation that was causing her a great deal of pain. She was experiencing the worst kind of breakup, not from a husband or a lover, but from a friend. Friend breakups are often more hurtful and confusing than relationship breakups because friends are expected to be there through thick and thin, in good times in bad, when the going gets tough and the tough get going. When a boyfriend exits your life, you turn to your friends to help pick up the pieces. When a friend exits your life, there is a void that cannot be filled with anything other than time. In situations like this, all we can really do is trust that Life knows the way, believe in ourselves, and follow our hearts back to happiness. Below is the reader’s letter, and my response to her.
My friendships mean a lot to me..and I think I trust too much and give way too much…to where it becomes a flaw, and I am left open to disapointment and pain..and it hurts, a lot. I am struggling with a lot of that today. I try very hard to stay positive and be my happy-go-lucky self, but sometimes, my heart can only take so much. Normally I refuse to let negative people ruin my mood and day for that matter…but right now, I am having a weak moment. Thank you for listening.
I would like to encourage you, my friend – first and foremost, not to not lose heart. I, like you, tend to invest a lot of myself into people and into relationships (both friendships and romantic relationships) and it hurts when you feel that the other person is not making an equal investment. That is normal, and it’s okay, and you can give yourself permission to feel hurt or even angered when someone does not treat you with the same love and respect that you are treating them.
However – the thing you have to remember, and this is SO important – is not to stay STUCK in that anger or hurt. Allow yourself to really feel it and to sit with your pain for awhile, then allow yourself to let it go. The reason people become bitter and disenchanted with life is because they cling to that anger like a bad habit and never release it. It is healthy to allow yourself to FEEL emotions, negative and positive. It is not healthy to let those emotions hold you captive.
Also – if there is a particular person in your life that is repeatedly choosing not to honor you and is causing you more sadness or pain than they are joy – it might be time to release that friendship back to the Universe and trust that it is not where you belong. I have had to cut ties with people that I loved very deeply because they were choosing to abuse the boundaries of our friendship and take advantage of my heart in a way that was causing me great pain – and life is too short for that! It hurts to let go of a friendship that means a great deal to you; however, I have found, time and again, that when you release your hold on a negative friendship (or as I call it, a “toxic friendship”), the Universe has a way of bringing two or three positive friendships into your life as replacements. We MUST let go of the old to receive the new – it is a rule of Life. Better to hurt temporarily and let go of the negative than hurt over and over and over again. Give NO ONE permission to hurt you! True friends will love you and support you and honor you and never trample on the beauty of your friendship by purposely causing you pain. And better to have two or three TRUE friends than roomfuls of faux friends.
At the end of the day – whether you speak up and let the person causing you pain know that their actions are unacceptable or whether you just choose to walk away – HONOR YOURSELF FIRST. When you truly begin to honor yourself, others will fall into line, too. You have to believe that you are worthy of respect and kindness and loyalty and love – and girl, YOU ARE!
Remember: Life’s too short for constant struggle and pain. LET IT GO and move on to the beauty and light. It is there. Trust me on this one.
“At the end of the day – whether you speak up and let the person causing you pain know that their actions are unacceptable or whether you just choose to walk away – HONOR YOURSELF FIRST. When you truly begin to honor yourself, others will fall into line, too. You have to believe that you are worthy of respect and kindness and loyalty and love – and girl, YOU ARE!”
This paragraph can not be more true. I have a best friend who seems to be one of fate. Both our mom’s were born on the same day, both had us at the same age, both died from breast cancer. Due to my mom’s death & a move my senior year to Michigan from Chicago I met her. We actually didn’t like each other at first. Due to stupid high school drama though we became friends, eventually best friends & learned about both our mom’s dying at young ages from the same disease. At 18 we got matching tattoo’s but one for our mom’s. Later on we found they were both born June 29th.
This past year, at age 25, 8 years after meeting, we discovered yet another similarity, that both our mom’s had us at 32.
I will tell you this, we have had our knock down blow out fights. She has said horrible things to me, as I have to her. We both have had the ex’s hit on the other while still in a relationship with one of us.
At the end of the day though, that girl who I couldn’t stand when I met her in high school, has become family. Through fights with each other, or families, through relationship dramas, through moves, & her returning from a tour in Afghanistan a changed person, we make it through one way or another. Despite mean or hurtful things, she knows I love her & have her back, as I know she has the same feelings & loyalty.
Sometimes friendships are extremely hard. Especially with females it seems. But I feel that 2 quotes could apply here.
1)If it’s meant to be it will be.
2) If you set it free & it comes back it’s meant to be, if not it never was to begin with
I shared my story on this, because of the friendship I have with my best friend. We have both had our moments where we have said the ABSOLUTE worst things. Where we held our tongues for so long & then exploded. It may be a month or 6 to get us back together, & while as extreme as it is, a sudden death of a friend, or abuse of a relationship coming about in the bigger of the fights, we both had forgotten the anger & pain of missing the other. No questions asked we were there for one another or there for the other.
I believe it’s not just a romantic relationship that requires fate, but fate plays a part in all relationships in your life. Speak up for yourself. Walk away and take the time to re-evaluate things in your life. If it is meant to be, fate finds a way of showing you.