Tuesday, April 3, 2018

When The Bough Breaks: Friendships Will Fall

©2018 Chantelle Henderson

“When people can walk away from you then let them walk.  I don't want you to try to talk another person into loving you, calling you, staying with you, caring about you or staying attached to you.  It doesn't matter how attracted you are to them, how wonderful they are, whether they did you a huge favor years ago or what the situation is; if they want to leave, let them go. Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you, and it doesn’t mean they are bad people. It just means that their part in your story is over.  You have to know when a person's part in your life is over so you don't continue to try to raise what is dead.”
Bishop T.D. Jakes

“Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.” 
Proverbs 18:24 (The Message)

Funny how history repeats itself.
I wrote the last paragraph (at the bottom) a year ago, but over the past few months so many of my friendships have changed.  I get it.  Throughout the years, I understand to a greater and and deeper extent what I am willing to accept in my relationships and friendships and what I am not.  It’s not the same for everyone.  My boundaries are mine and your's may well be different than mine.  And that is OK. 
When I let someone in, REALLY let them in all the way, my expectations are not that we’ll never argue, or not have misunderstandings and disagreements.  What it does mean is that I trust you.  I have your back.  You never have to question my loyalty or commitment to the relationship.  And that no matter what happens we would be able to work things out because our friendship was worth fighting for.  It means that I trust and believe that there is a level of loyalty, commitment, and support on your part that should anything ever did happen it can be worked out. I'm all in.
I’m learning, however, that things don’t always work out as you hoped they would.  I am extremely careful who I let in.  In my life I have an “Entrance” & and “Exit” door.  All that I ever ask of anyone who's a part of my life is to go through one door or the other, but don’t stand in the middle blocking traffic.  I am willing to walk away from those who are unhealthy, toxic, and show by their actions that they are doing just fine without me in their life.  Yes, it hurts and at times it makes me feel inadequate, betrayed, abandoned, taken for granted, and neglected-like, “What did I do wrong?”, "What's wrong with me?", not realizing that sometimes it has absolutely nothing to do with me, but everything to do with them.  What I now comprehend is that no matter how much I pour into someone, I risk not having the same in return.  I can’t make someone love me.  I can’t make someone stay when they don’t want to.  I can’t force someone to want what I want out of the relationship.  I can’t hold on to someone who doesn’t want to be held.  And I can’t be the only one fighting for the friendship. This I do know:  I will not allow the absence of someone else cause me to fear opening my heart to others who want to be in my life and me in theirs’s.  When all is said and done I refuse let a broken heart and a sense of not feeling like enough because of your actions keep me from being open to the possibility of new journeys with different people.  Sometimes people just change and who they used to be, they no longer are and you have to choose if it's over or just a season.  There is such a fine line between the two.  At the end of the day you get to decide if it is worth it for you to ride out the waves and storm hoping for better days, or if it is best for you to walk away.  There are times that you don't know which path to take, and it's during those times that you just wait; don't choose either.  You don't make a rash decision unless you KNOW it's over.  Trust me, when it is over, you will know it and will be able to release that relationship accordingly.  I'm not saying it will be easy.  The deeper and longer the friendship the more you will find yourself grieving the loss of "what could and should have been".  I would love to lie and tell you it will be easy, but no.  There is pain in letting go.  There is a breaking of the heart in letting go.  There are tears in letting go.  There is even anger in letting go.  Nevertheless, let them go.  Again, you will know when it's time.  You'll just know.

These words are from today.  I wrote the following paragraph exactly from one year ago today.    
You know, over the years I've managed to form healthy relationships, keep realistic boundaries and expectations, and to guard my heart where friendships are concerned. I've had to learn the beauty of letting go AND being let go. But every now and then I get surprised by someone and the hurt is painful, and deep, and requires tears for healing. I had no warning and wasn't prepared. The thing is, though, that the enemy doesn't get to win. Because in the past I would shut down and shut everyone out, but today, I cried. I prayed. And then I released it. I released them. I may never have a reason or get an explanation but I am okay with that. If I've learned anything, it's that people are human and they are not perfect. They aren't always fair and they have their own reasons for the disconnection. I choose to move on and continue to be with those who choose to be.....who want to be in my life. I realize that I'm blessed to have a tribe that has my back. And that being the case, that's where my focus and energy belong. It doesn't get to go to the person who left. Not anymore. - ♥️  ℂℍ