25 January 2016

Making Peace With Ended or Broken Friendships

I've had this post on my list of posts to write for a while and have thought a lot about this topic, and at times struggled with it. For a multitude of reasons friendships come to an end, people leave our lives or we leave theirs. I thought I'd just share some lessons and experiences I've had and my thoughts as I have mulled things over, wondered what happened, wondered what needed to happen and attempted to move forward.

Sometimes what were shiny star relationships in our lives extinguish quickly and sometimes they die a slow death over time. We've all been on both sides of the fence regarding ended friendships. When friends leave our lives we are usually left with unanswered questions. I have found that when friendships change or end it's always helpful to consider these things.

Instead of placing blame or feeling badly, it's helpful to try to remember that circumstances and needs change our lives and others. Sometimes things happen that we'll never know about that push our friends in directions we may never know about.

It can be hard to read the signs and understand what is happening. This can be frustrating and discouraging. I try to act in grace, giving them my best hopes and releasing them to do what they need to do for them. I try to take into account the lessons and blessing that have come to my life from the friendship. This helps me realize there are times and seasons for relationships and be grateful rather than upset.

I remember a lesson I learned from a broken relationships a few years ago that helped me not to fill in the blanks with negative things. After finding a great massage therapist who I met with for a few months, I experience a large increase in expenses that required that massages could not fit into my budget anymore. I did not say anything to my massage therapist and I was very busy with work so time passed more quickly than I realized. A few months later a friend and fellow client of this massage therapist told me a story that stunned me. Apparently the therapist had had a falling out with another friend of ours. So when she did not hear from me, she assumed that I had been drawn into the drama and refused to use her services anymore because of this row she'd had with another friend.

I actually had heard nothing of this falling out, but was really surprised at the connections the therapist had made, which made total sense from the bits and pieces of information she had to go on to explain why I was no longer seeking her services. This taught me a great lesson about not drawing conclusions from bit and pieces of information because chances are I will be wrong. I definitely don't wan to act from misconceptions or make incorrect assumptions about other people and what is going on around me.

I read a business book once that said that when there is a lack of information, people generally fill that void with negative and fearful beliefs. I have thought about that a lot and really tried not to do that in my life. But it is a challenge, especially when we feel hurt or rejected.

Sometimes our friendships drift apart very slowly over time due to life changes, like a move, marriage, having children, or even a personal or family crisis. Sometimes relationships end very abruptly. Those are hard. I can't recommend the best way to change or end a friendship or how to handle an ended friendship we weren't expecting. There isn't an easy way.

But making peace within oneself about it is always required one way or the the other. Sending best wishes and finding gratitude in the time that was had together and the blessings that came can bring some peace and prepare one to welcome new friendships into one's life, to enjoy a new season of friendships. Sending love and fond wishes to you as you traverse this ever interesting and adventurous trek known as friendships. The best blessings often come with some challenges. But we always take some great life lessons with us to guide us in the future.

*PS: This is a beautiful window I found at Sundance resort in Utah over Christmas. I have always wanted some of these stars and this totally inspired me. They are made by a relative of a friend of mine. You can find them here on Etsy.

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