Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Seasons of Friendship

People come into your life for a reason, season, or lifetime.  When you figure it out you know what exactly to do.
-- Michelle Ventor

I. Can't. Let. Go.  There I've said it.  I have an extremely hard time letting go of friendships.  Maybe even at the expense of myself.

Friendships are an important part of my life.  You see, I grew up as an only child in a small Midwestern town.  My parents were both sick at the same time and the nearest family members were hundreds of miles away.  To me, my friends were my family.  They were the only people who made my life feel normal.  So, the end of the friendship can sometimes feel like the death of a family member which is why I have so much difficulty letting friendships go.

I don't give them up without a fight though.  I am that person that can see the good sides of most people.  And even those friends who may have some major flaws I still empathize with them because I know that they are inherently good people. I will try to work on the relationship often trying to tailor the way that I say things.  I will continue in my sympathy for that person even when others around me wonder why I even bother.  But the truth is, in everything I do I like to say that I tried and I did everything I could before giving up.

But sometimes there is nothing you can do.  Friends lose touch.  We grow older.  We change.  And the changes do not all have to be negative.  The longer you are friends with someone the more that the nature of your friendship will change.

But sometimes those changes can hurt.  Someone who you considered to be a good friend will stop talking to you.  Or sometimes a friend will say something that you don't agree with and decide that you are no longer worthy of being in his or her inner circle.  Still other times you may be a part of someone's past when they are trying to forget about that part of their lives.  Sometimes in all the good will and all the trying friendships cannot sustain these types of life changes.

There are times that I look back and I feel sad about some of the friendships that I have lost.  Sometimes they were my own fault.  Sometimes I decided that I finally had to let it go.  Sometimes I am not even sure why such and such and I stopped talking.  But I still feel like that piece of me is missing.

Not everyone wants to be friends with me and that's ok.  I am not everyone's cup of tea.  I have my own issues and flaws which I probably know just about as well as you do.   I try to be the type of friend who I would want in return.  Even if that means sometimes saying or hearing things that I don't like.  But the thing about friendships is that you have to trust that your friend has your best interests at heart.  That if someone tells you something that you don't like that it does not come from a malicious place.  Friends are supposed to pick you up when are down, hold you accountable, and help guide you on the right path when you are wandering towards the wrong.  And if you have a friend who doesn't fulfill all these qualities then maybe it is time for you to let it go.

I am blessed to have some friends who I consider my family, who I believe were put in my life for a lifetime.  And because I have those lifetime friends perhaps it makes it easier to let go of the reason and season friends who are on their way out of the door.

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