Out with the old, to make room for the new.

Whenever a relationship comes to an end in my life, I often try to figure out what went wrong.  What I could have done differently to keep that friendship going.  I don’t like to just let people leave my inner circle.  I don’t make friends easily, so it takes me a little while to truly open up to them and let them in, but once I do, they’re in.  Which is why having relationships come to an end is very hard for me to accept.  Especially when so often, in my case nothing happens.  Meaning, that there is no huge blow up, misunderstanding, argument or drama that brings the friendship to an end.  Making the conclusion of what I thought was a perfectly wonderful relationship that much harder to swallow.

In the past I used to literally keep myself up at night trying to work out in my mind what went wrong, but as I’m aging I’ve learned to fully embrace the everybody comes into your life for a reason a season or a lifetime.  I’ve come to make peace with the knowing that not all friends are meant to stay forever.  They were brought for a purpose and once that purpose has been fulfilled in my life, they go.  And like they’ve been given to me to fulfill something in our karmic journey, I too have done my part for them.  It has taken me such a long time to come to peace with this.  Mostly because during the height of the friendships I was so in love with those friends, we were so in each others pockets, propping one another up during difficult times, carrying each other through everything that the absence of them left a giant, gaping hole.  I’ve witnessed our daughters go through this multiple times themselves.  I’m watching our middle girl go through a bit of a house cleaning phase right at this moment, and it’s hard.  She’s sad.  She’s disappointed, she’s questioning, as I have done so many times as well; “what could I have done differently.”

And the answer is.  Nothing at all.

As I mature, and experience more life, I really get that we can’t keep everybody in our lives.  There simply is not enough room to nurture, honour, love and commit all the time, energy and depth that real, soulful friendships require in order to grow.  I mean, nobody plants a garden and then just checks in on it from “time to time.”  That’s not possible.  That is not how growth happens.  If we have the expectation of growth, then we know that that requires a commitment, and since I’m only one person I cannot possible have dozens and dozens of gardens spread out all over the place and expect them to all do well.  And the same thing goes for our relationships.  They need our full commitment.  They need and deserve our attention.

I’ve also come to understand that if we keep everybody, we have no space for the new friends that are meant to know us.  The people that are being brought to us to move us forward in our own personal growth, and to be the ones who will help us through the next part of our journey.  When I “lost” a couple of close friends two years ago, I was crushed.  It took me many months to stop bringing them up to Yannick, the girls and my other girlfriends who had known how close I had been to these other two friends, and how much they meant to me.  I didn’t understand why they had to go.  But now, now that I have a new girlfriend in Natasha Koifman, I realize why the others had to go.  I get that my life needed to make room for this remarkable, incredible, outstanding soul to be my friend.  In one short year Natasha has brought me so much joy, has taught me how to rely on myself more.  She has helped bring me out of my shell, and assisted me in seeing that I am truly deserving of achieving all the dreams I have for myself.  That I don’t need to just believe these things for Yannick, or my girls.  I can also believe in them for myself.

Today is Natasha’s 15th anniversary of her company, NKPR.  15 years ago she stopped working at a PR firm to create her own.  It must have been scary, I know how scared I am every single time I jump off a cliff.  But she did it.  Successfully.  And now, she’s sharing her strength and confidence with so many other women around her.  I am blessed to be one of them.  But not only is she “mentoring” me she has also become my good friend.  Prayerfully a friend who I can add to my very small list of “lifers.”

I love you NK, here’s to another 15!

3 Comments

  1. I completely understand I don’t have many friends as it is really hard for me to trust people. Reading this was very helpful as it shows I’m not the only one who struggles when relationships end. Thank you

  2. Dear Shantelle,

    This blog really touched me..I could have written pretty much the same things about friendships. I have a very small circle of friends all of whom I have known for a certain length of time – once since primary school, and the most “recent” one for 12 years., the others being since 1978, 1994 and 2002. The latter two live interstate, and we still keep in touch (one more than the other, but that’s okay.) I can’t say I’ve ever been in anyone’s pockets as far as friends go, though I did see one of the interstate friends regularly as we lived a couple of streets away from each other.

    I’ve also had other people come into my life, and then contact and the friendships ceased. I kept in contact with a number of people I knew from my 8 years in Hobart, but only the friend I met in 1994 remains. Others who I made sure to lend moral support to when needed, and where it ended up being more one-sided, have been as hard to let go of at times as some of the others that were more reciprocal in nature. The saddest ones though, have been those friends I loved dearly, and who have died.

    Having had chronic illness for some years now, my life tends to be relatively isolated as I am mostly house-bound…and illness can be confronting or uncomfortable for some people, so it’s easier for them to not have contact. I’m not the only person with health issues that this happens to, as it’s a very common occurrence. This experience has made me grateful for those friends I do have, even though their commitments or own illness means I see them only occasionally. I also hope that there will be room for more friendships in my own life…that would be a wonderful ‘more’ to have fulfilled.

    Like you say though, the friendships you had that were once in your life have made space for a new friend to have come into your life. I am so glad for you that you have found a new friend in Natasha, and I hope your friendship continues to blossom for many years to come.

    God bless you and all your friendships.

    Love and hugs,

    Nattacia x

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