Sometimes walking away from things in life that no longer serve you is the best gift you can give yourself.
That could be a job, relationship or even a friendship. No matter what it is, if it is no longer feeding you with good, it is okay to walk away. You can still love someone from a distance.
In this column I will be addressing friendships.
When you sit down and really think about it, how many people can you count as a true friend? The ones that are there for every stage of life from the highest highs to the lowest lows. The ones that cheer you on even when they are down and truly mean it. I’ve always heard you get five finger friends in your lifetime, which means at the end of your life, you will only be able to count on one hand people who were truly your friend.
That goes hand in hand with the poem written by Brian A. “Drew” Chalker, “Reason, Season, or Lifetime.” The people who are reasons come into your life to teach you something you need to learn, a realization if you will. They help you with a specific difficulty you’re facing, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. Seasonal friends accompany you through a specific stage of life. They are usually with you for quite some time and will bring you peace, joy and growth. You will likely learn a lot from them but seasons inevitably come to an end.
Those lifetime friends though, are exactly that. To quote Chalker’s poem, “These friends teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.”
Discerning which of these people in your life are, can be a difficult task and sometimes a heart-wrenching lesson to learn. You cannot make lifetime friends out of reasons or seasons, despite the love you have for them.
I have a seasonal friend, they have taught me much about myself in several different areas in life. They have been there for me through some pretty tough times but I’ve come to learn that it is time to walk away from them. The friendship no longer serves me and what is best for me. This has been an agonizing lesson to learn but one I know will be worth it in the end.
I once walked away from someone who I believed was a lifetime friend but after gross amounts of toxicity, I, quietly and without fanfare, exited. I miss them to this day, immensely, but I cannot allow them in my world.
Friendships should bring joy and happiness, not anxiety and feelings of guilt. When you start seeing those red flags and feeling something is off, take stock and evaluate. If the cons outweigh the pros, it is time to walk away.
Your exit doesn’t mean you hate them, it simply means you love yourself more. In the end forgive them so you can move ahead in peace. You deserve it.