I’ve never been very good at “letting go”… of things or of people. Letting go always seemed to be a version of giving up or giving in, and *that* never sat well with me. I never thought of myself as a quitter, so why should I willingly let go of something or someone in my life? I don’t think my thought process changed much until this particular move from RVA to Maryland.
I’m starting to accept that there are times when letting go is actually the healthiest thing you can do for yourself. Spending countless hours trying to figure out what I can do to maintain friendships with people who don’t seem as concerned seems akin to pounding ones’ head against the wall and then wondering why I have a headache. I believe that friendship isn’t a one-way street. It is a living and breathing organism that needs to be fed, on a regular basis, in order to maintain any sort of viability. The most interesting thing that I am learning about friendship is that some are actually able to withstand less “feeding” than others. It seems that some friendships, especially those with whom you have experienced tremendous growth, seem to continue to thrive even with little to no contact… but only if that growth was experienced by both/all parties involved.
That being said, I’m coming to realize that those people who truly want to be a part of my life will always remain a part of my life. It’s not a question of letting them go or not caring any longer… those people who remain in my life, in any sort of capacity, are those who actually desire to be a part of my life. These are the friendships that are meant to be nurtured and fed, in whatever degree most comfortable to both. Some people find it more comfortable to remain on the fringes, playing games on Facebook and occasionally posting a message or offering a prayer regarding the sale of our home. Others seem to have made the choice to use the “opportunity” of my move to allow a friendship to pass away, whether by choice or because of distance. While I don’t know that I’ll ever be good at “letting go” of a friendship, I have to learn how to be okay with someone’s choice to do so. After all, isn’t that what friendship is all about… wanting the best for the other person, as well as for yourself?
As the posted quote says, “Letting go does not mean you stop caring. It means you stop trying to force others to…” I really want to learn not to force others to care about a friendship. While I will give myself permission to mourn that particular loss, but I will not allow that permission to stop me from moving on and letting go.
So, to those of you who have remained a part of my life through our move these past few months, I say a very heartfelt “Thank you”. Each message, prayer, or gesture, no matter the size, has been appreciated more than I can ever put into words. There’s nothing like a friend who actually refuses to leave your side, especially when the parameters of the original friendship are tested. On the flip side, I plan to work harder to be okay allowing other friends to move on with their own lives. Letting go works both ways and recognizing that can be painfully bittersweet.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that we all need to nurture the friendships that are important, but let go of those that aren’t lifting up our souls. Letting go doesn’t have to be a bad thing… ultimately, I believe that we’ll all be healthier and happier if we surround ourselves with friends who truly care about us.
Wishing each of you the friendships that brighten your day and lighten your soul…especially during this Holiday season.