“Make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold.”
My mom used to sing this to me as a child when I would go crying to her with friendship troubles. Be it hurt feelings, confusion, not sure where I fit in, feeling left out, jealousy, or a variety of other emotions, my mom usually had the same advice:
“Keep the peace, keep the relationship.”
Since we were changing so quickly, getting our emotional bearings, and our lives with our friends were so intertwined on a day-to-day basis when we were kids, I could see her point.
As adults, we may be experiencing some major changes in our lives. A new job, divorce, marriage, grief, an empty nest, a big move or retirement may spark a personal journey inward.
Perhaps you are on a journey to slow things down, be more present, and discover (or uncover) your authentic self. An unexpected result of living with “wholehearted authenticity” (Brene Browne), presence and simplicity may be a shift in our relationships. They may fizzle out or crash and burn, or some may even deepen. You may also find that you are making some new connections as the result of the new you!
For those relationships that aren’t working for us anymore, it’s difficult to follow my mom’s advice and continue to maintain them on some level. We have a finite amount of time, we don’t live close to many of our friends and we’re trying to simplify our lives, not complicate them. But it may also be difficult to let them go.
If you’re having difficulty letting go, these 6 things may help:
- Know that if it isn’t working for you, chances are that it isn’t working for the other person. As we grow and change, so do our relationships.
- Refrain from trying to find fault and blame to make a case that it’s not working, just let it go.
- Be honest, loving and compassionate with the other person, and yourself.
- Forgive. This may take time, but forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.
- Know that you did the best you could while in the relationship. No one is perfect.
- Moving on does not constitute a failure. Be grateful for all that you have learned from the relationship.
I just finished reading Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, and his words have helped me develop a sense of freedom in my personal relationships. I highly recommend his book!
Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements:
- BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD
- DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY
- DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
- ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
I hope this helps you create a sense of freedom in your relationships and it gives you the courage to continue to do what feels right and to release that which doesn’t quench your soul.
Peace, Love and Presence,