“Don’t expect anything from anybody, this is also a great freedom. Don’t expect things to be different or people to be in service to you or your own life or projections.” (Mooji)
Have you ever felt very sad that a friendship has ended, and you are not sure why? Have you ever felt very angry that a relationship has ended, and you have been unfairly blamed? Did you ever willingly end a relationship that was not serving you? In this blog, I want to explore the ending of a friendship and why it can be traumatic – but why we can turn it into something empowering.
I chose this subject because often when change our lives to suit our needs – we give up alcohol, for example – the people in our lives change too. We may decide consciously or unconsciously to steer our lives away from certain individuals or it may happen naturally, that our new path just takes us in a new direction.
What is the Universe Telling You?
The universe works in mysterious ways. If you find that you keep being blocked, that things are not working out as planned, sit down and observe this for a bit. Think about what you are doing and why these things are not working out. What if you changed direction? Tried something else? Or took a different tack completely and tackled the project or idea or relationship differently? If we tune in, the universe will teach us a lot about ourselves and our choices.
I remember my first group of friends at primary school in the 1970s. We were a happy clique of 4 girls who met at one another’s houses and played in the gardens and in the streets (no technology or phones invented yet!). Then, we had to split up for high school and I only knew two people from primary school who went to the high school my parents chose (all girls).
As a teen, I met another group of 4 friends and we stuck together through thick and thin. I also had alternate friends on the side, the hippies, and rebels of the class. Once again, the circle had to break when we all left high school for universities, travels, or marriage. I went to Rhodes University to study Journalism and found myself in a bohemian bunch of lasses who partied on! We drank litres of wine and vodka punch, we studied hard, and we walked everywhere, no cars.
After those three years were up, I went to work in the bushveld in private game lodges and boy, did I meet some wonderful game rangers and admin staff there! We could party like there was no tomorrow and our professional work ethics won smiles from the board. Two years later and I needed to move on again – I headed on a jet plane to London and found myself travelling and working for the next 2 years.
Friends Change with Life Changes
Yes, you guessed, I met more girlfriends! I started off with 4 friends from my hometown but soon we had all split up due to disagreements and the need to follow our own plans and maps. I met crazy chicks in Israel where we worked 12 hours shifts on vegetable farms and drank raw vodka in the eves. We explored Israel and Egypt together and then we all split up again and I had to return to SA, broke but happy.
Now I am in my midlife, and I still find my friendships waxing and waning like a huge full moon. There are moments of amazing love and clarity and then there are empty, barren moments when all contact seems lost, and connection seems impossible. I turn to Nature then, in all her wildness and I ask her what to do.
When I stopped drinking 6 years ago, there was a huge rift in my life because I no longer felt comfortable socialising with the girls I had been drinking buddies with for years. I felt the stigma of not drinking, of having to stop drinking or choosing to stop drinking. I felt the black sheep feeling of being the only one, the strange one.
Since then, I have found sober friends and I still have them. I don’t like to profess my sobriety to anyone (except in these blogs of course!) and I never celebrate my soberversaries though I should – I feel as if no one really cares anyway and it is my own private achievement.
Family relationships have changed a lot for me over time too. My sister and I are close after many phases adrift on the open sea doing our own things. She went through her own catharsis and had to change a lot in her life, and she has loved and lost.
I have been finding myself too, living life in the raw and real with no wine to soften the blows. I found my tongue in my middle age and was able to say NO to others in my family who were far too overbearing. Voila, I am healing and finding out who I am.
How do we Bond?
Raquel Bravo puts it so eloquently when she says, “When we create friendships or romantic relationships, we typically bond over specific aspects of ourselves or our lives. Sometimes those bonds are not formed from a healthy space, yet sometimes they are… Usually, in this grand magnetic charge between two people, we learn lessons from each other to help us grow. Some people say this attraction between two people is there because we have made soul contracts. Sometimes those contracts are short, and other times, they can be lifelong. Looking at it from that perspective can help lessen the pain if a relationship or friendship comes to an end.”
Yes, we learn lessons from every person we meet, and I believe that every person we meet is meant to be in our destiny. We meet people who teach us about ourselves – sometimes they mirror the things we suppress in ourselves or dislike about ourselves. We often don’t even know we are learning lessons.
When a friendship ends, it could be environmental/physical reasons such as a change in living area, travel, a move to a different workspace or study space. The truly old friends we made from our childhoods do often stay with us. These friendships are grounding and comfortable.
My new friends, however, mirror my needs in my now, my 50s, midlife. Many of my friends are older than me, the wild women who have developed innate wisdom about life and what they need from life and what they want to give to life.
Betrayal is Heavy
Have you ever felt physically ill from a betrayal or disloyalty in a friendship or relationship? I have been wronged a few times in my life – causing gut-wrenching sadness to me and wringing my heart out so much that energy healers have told me my heart chakra is not working! My heart is so sore still because I have not dealt with my pain. The pain of personal betrayal and hurt.
I need to sort this out as emotional illness causes physical illness and my dad also had terrible heart issues. I get so hurt about relationships that fail and yet I know that it takes two to tango and that I need to look at the whys. What has been my role in these relationships to make them go all loopy? And what was it in me that caused something to end?
Let it GO!
I need to let go. And Raquel Bravo talks about letting go and moving on from hurtful relationships to ensure our own health and wellbeing.
If we look deeper into our friendships, we may see that our friends do teach us lessons. In her own life, Raquel noticed that “they showed me aspects of myself for a long, long time. And in that seeing, I was able to find within myself why I carried those around and how they served me. Once I saw the patterns for what they were, I let them go.”
She offers these 3 steps we can take to let go of a friendship that no longer serves you, especially if you are feeling so much pain, anger, hurt and guilt about the friendship ending.
- Write down what it was that drew you to this person in the first place. Reflect on that. Make sure you do this step, and it will come to light that this thing that drew you together is no longer there.
- Write down which similar personality traits you had with this person, and what you did together that was similar. Did you behave similarly and have similar interests, laughs, hobbies, pets? List the positives and negatives as honestly as you can. It will come to light that these things are no longer there.
- Write down what it is that this person taught you in the short time you were together as friends. Reflect on this. Was it a happy or sad time together? Did you learn something about yourself and your own behaviour? Did you see the truth, and did you manage to leave in a loving way or in an angry way?
As Mooji says, “Let it be whatever it will be. Give up trying to manipulate. This is Freedom.”
“If you make human company too important you will not discover your true Self. Relationships not based in truth are never entirely reliable and are rarely enduring.”