By now, you hopefully did some de-cluttering this past spring–threw out those stained panties, that dried-up can of paint, unsubscribed to some spam emails, and tossed the milk carton dated from March of ’09 and got some much needed rest this summer. What’s left to dispose of? Well, this last step is the hardest, but probably the most necessary…it is time to get rid of your outdated relationships, or clean up and re-organize them. I am in no way insinuating that people are disposable or dispensable…of course not. All people are beautiful souls who are priceless. But, sometimes their expiration date in your life runs out. This is more common than we think, and on some level, even explains why there are so many divorces these days. Again, I want to make sure that you understand that I am NOT saying relationships are futile and not worth fighting for. They are, as long as it is not a battle that exhausts both parties more than adds joy to both parties and everything has been done to try to salvage it with no success.
As the old saying goes, “People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” Not everyone is meant to stay in our lives forever, and sometimes, holding on past the expiration date can be draining to both involved. There are many souls that bop in and out of our lives, just to teach us important lessons. We humans mirror to other humans what it is that we need to work on. With some tenacity, we meet this challenge with grace. Sometimes, when this has been accomplished, two people part ways and meet others to teach through their involvement with one another. And sometimes, the two continue to evolve and grow together for a very long time…perhaps an entire lifetime and many other lifetimes. The word “relationship” has the word RELATE inside of it. We are humans who are meant to relate to other humans in order to grow and progress. At some point, if we are no longer relating to one another, we have to let go, or fine a way that we can relate.
This is really tough to do because our friendships and relationships are rooted in our identity. Our tribe, our survival, and therefore our identities our often “rooted” (this can affect our root chakra) in our friendships…especially our earlier friendships. Often times, the prospect of letting go of a friendship signals to us that our survival is threatened. Biologically, this makes sense. It is natural for these fears to arise. However, if we really look at our friendships and relationships with some awareness, we may be surprised to find that they are actually COMPROMISING our survival.
Ask yourself the following about a relationship in question:
*When I am around Hilda (or fill-in-blank), I leave feeling exhausted!
*When I am around Hilda, I receive an earful, but am devoid of giving a mouthful. In other words, she talks, and I listen. And, she talks so much, she never remembers that I have heard the same damn story of how she screwed the mailman about 5,000 times!
*When I am around Hilda, I cannot be my true self without fear of being ridiculed and unaccepted. She always makes fun up me for having an affinity towards men in uniform (sanitation worker uniforms).
*Our relationship giving ratio is 95:5, Me: Hilda
*Hilda and I have nothing in common and the only thing we relate on is that we both like to pluck our eyebrows to avoid letting anyone see our uni-brows.
*And lastly, this is a toughie…Do I want to be lumped in as the same “type” of person as Hilda?
This is a hard question to answer and I really struggled with this one. I had gotten through the whole list above with some of my old high school and college friends back home, and it was not looking good. Then, the final wake-up call came about 5 years ago when we all went out to celebrate our birthdays. We went out for what was supposed to be a fun and easy-going birthday dinner. We had ordered our food, chatting away. When the meals came, one of the girls had asked for cracked pepper and the waiter regretfully informed us that there was no cracked pepper, just regular. She was shocked and took it as a personal blow. She retorted, “No cracked pepper? What kind of establishment is this? If I had known there was no black pepper, I never would have come here! In fact, I’m tempted to leave”. All of the other sheep started chiming in and threatened to leave, and kept bashing the place, the waiter and even wanting to talk to the manager. The waiter looked hurt and pissed and looked strait at me. “No, no, no. Not me.” I communicated with my eyes to him, “I could give a shit about the pepper. I am not like this. These are not my friends!” I could tell it was too late. It was guilt by association. I was lumped into this group. I was mortified. I realized that you are judged and “known” by the company you keep. If a good friend wants to wear a fedora on her elbow daily and I too get assumed to be a weirdo, I don’t care. But, I do care if I am being labeled as rude, ungrateful and bitchy because of the company I keep. I knew the relationship had to end with theses old girls. They once served a purpose. It was fun to talk first kisses with them and to do jello shots together, but our priorities and values had diverged. We could no longer relate…it was time to let go.
I encourage you too, dear reader, to take on the painful (but ultimately beneficial task) of clearing out old relationships. You don’t have to drop them like bad habits. You can gracefully and gradually make yourself less available, you can talk to your friend about what you too do relate on, or you can gently approach your friend and explain to her that you need more. Remember though, the ball is in your court and their is nobody in charge, but yourself. The next time your version of Hilda is blabbing on and on without a breather, gently jump in and say, “Oh, that reminds me of the time I….”, start asking for help and start expressing what your needs are. Chances are, that person will comply and start chipping in more…after all, he/she was probably just following your lead and didn’t realize you needed to be heard and seen as well. If the person doesn’t respond in a healthful way, you probably don’t need or want this person robbing you of your life-force energy anyway…it is best to shut that door and make room for others with a more balanced give-and-take approach and who the two of you can relate to more and to learn and grow together. Energetically continue to send love and well-being to your past friend/lover/co-worker, but affirm that they were in your life for a reason or a season, and your are committed to those who will hang throughout your lifetime! x0
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About the Author
This article was written by Natalie Berthold, a Coach, Teacher, and Healer who uses her gifts to help others. She has been a devoted member of the Bella Life community since the very beginning and enjoys showing our Bella Beauties how to access true healing in their lives through a variety of different techniques. Want Natalie to guide you through your own healing journey? Leave a comment or question below and she will personally answer you! To learn more about Natalie Berthold or to connect with her further, visit her Bella Life profile here.