Some people think I’m calloused because of how easily I seem to let relationships go. The truth is that it hurts me, too.
I’ve seen many close relationships come to an end for one reason or another. Because I am a private person, people rarely know the full story. They just know one minute we were close and had been friends for years, and then we were no longer speaking. I don’t feel it’s necessary to let people in to those aspects of my life, unless it directly impacts them.
I don’t discard relationships without just cause. I notice changes, I sit back and observe, I give people room and don’t initially assume that whatever they are going through has anything to do with me. I check on them, I communicate when things feel off for too long, and then if the relationship causes me more turmoil than peace, or just feels complete, I let it go.
I value my peace. I no longer hold on to things that make me feel bad. It doesn’t matter how close we were, or how long we were cool. If it causes me emotional and psychological distress, I let it go.
I can honor the good times. I can respect the memories. And I can acknowledge that season is now over and let it blow in the wind.
A lot of people feel a sense of guilt or disloyalty for releasing long time relationships. But I strongly believe that relationships are for a season, a reason, or a lifetime. NOT ALL RELATIONSHIPS ARE FOR A LIFETIME. That’s a hard truth. But accepting it can bring so much peace.
We see it sometimes with athletes, performers, and even pastors, who stay in the game too long. They have an amazing career, full of accolades and successes, but when their performance begins to decline they don’t exit. They stick it out until it poisons their legacy.
I don’t need to have a knockdown drag out fight with a friend to know our relationship has run its course. If we no longer can agree, or agree to disagree; when we no longer have anything in common, when we’ve hurt each other and refuse to apologize or do better, it’s time to let it go.
I no longer hold on to what hurts me. I prefer to let go when the season of peace, love and joy has ended. My life has enough challenges. I don’t need constant unrest in my relationships, too. I walk away while I can still respect you….
Sometimes people we were cool with forever show us a side to them that makes it impossible to get the relationship back. For me, those are times when I look at our journey and think, “We had a good run, but this can’t be repaired.” I recognize that what I thought was a lifetime relationship, was actually for a season—or reason. And I decide to let it go. I don’t even always have a conversation with the other person. I just make that decision within myself and stop reaching out. Typically, I’m the one who initiates contact anyway so as I back away, the relationship just dissipates. And I’ve had some where we had that uncomfortable chat and I let them know that I am committed to peace and resolution, and if they’re committed to an argument, we have nothing more to discuss. And then I let them go.
Trust me, I know it’s hard when you think people have a lifetime membership, but they do something so unexpected and hurtful that you can never view them the same. I’ve been there far too many times. It hurts me when I let people go. But sometimes it hurts more to hold on. I love myself too much to do that anymore. Gotta let them drift in the wind. And eventually, I can think of the good times, without focusing on the hurt. I can think of them and smile at the memories, and send them thoughts of love.