I won’t say that social media has made things like break ups and the breakdowns of friendships harder but it certainly has made the healing process an interesting one. I was the person who always thought that people would want to stay in my life forever. I figured I was a pretty good person to be around and that I tried to make it worth it. But no matter how hard I tried, there would just be some that would find their way out. Experiencing it more and more hasn’t made it any easier.
An event this past weekend made me think about people walking away and why I struggle with it so much.
I think my biggest problem with people walking away is that I have assumed that there would be no one to take that person’s place. I tended to unintentionally make people irreplaceable, rarely questioning why they were there and whether their presence was optimal for both parties. But whether it was a significant other, friend, or extended family member that walked away, once I calmed my nerves down and thought it through, it wasn’t as big of a deal as I made it. Did it hurt? Yes. Was it unwanted? Yes. But will life move on? Why, yes…yes it will.
Sometimes we mourn the loss of those things that need to be lost – not that those friendships/relationships weren’t good and didn’t serve a purpose but sometimes two roads can emerge from a single path. When this happens, decisions are made according to what’s best (or what you can perceive to be as best at the time).
The best gift you can give to the other is the room to walk the way they want to walk. The best gift you can give you is to continue on with your path. Eventually you’ll find that often what you thought you were lacking is up the road. You’ll likely also find that your journey will introduce you to other people and experiences that will remind you why you’re worth hanging in there for. They’ll be “for” you, without a doubt, and constantly pushing you to be “for” yourself.
The good thing and bad thing about life is that it goes on, depending on your vantage point. I’d never advocate for callousness and complete emotional disconnect as a cure for relational breakdowns. What I would say at this point is to keep breathing and don’t feel like you need to beg people to stay who don’t feel like they need to. Everyone deserves the freedom to choose and deserves the chance to reap from those choices. The decisions that people make for their lives are always bigger than one person or one thing and that can be easily overlooked when going through the pain of disconnect.
No matter how people come and go, it’s important to keep the truth in your view. Your worth and value never comes and goes with who stays or leaves and there’s always a lesson to be learned – even if it’s to stop bending over backwards for everyone else and giving yourself the scraps. It’s possible to be at peace with your demotion in others’ lives – it may lead to you being at peace with the value of your own.