Many of us struggle with friendships; particularly the ones that end abruptly or fizzle out for no reason.
If you are one of the lucky ones who has never had a difficult friendship, or even one that has come to an end, then good for you! Are you a unicorn? (Ha!)
For the majority of us we will, at some point in our lives, experience friendships that come to an end. And this can be an incredibly upsetting, confusing or just plain weird occurrence.
As most friendships are based on trust and mutual appreciation with another human being, they are mostly positive and enriching parts of our lives. Friendships bring joy and pleasure into our lives. They offer relief from the toils of life, much needed support and guidance, sometimes they even take the place of family. Friendships often form a fundamental part of our daily lives.
How do we cope when some friendships seemingly come to an end? It can be incredibly upsetting or confusing experience.
I have found that a great strategy to cope with this is to think about the following phrase:
Friendships are for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
Think about it.
Look back at the various friendships you have had in your life. I bet you could fit them into one of the three categories above.
What does this mean?
Friendships for a reason are often those people who come into our lives to teach us a lesson or bring a message that the universe needs us to hear. Perhaps they can help us move forward with something? Maybe they enhance a certain project? Maybe they teach us something that was missing from our personality or offer a new perspective on life?
Friendships for a season are the people who are present due to circumstances at that particular time in your life. These are often school friends, neighbours, work colleagues or project peers. For the most part, your friendship is solely down to circumstance and environment.
Friendships for a lifetime are the people who are long-term friends. They are the ones who will be there for you no matter what. They are often the ones with whom you can go months (or even years) without speaking to but still pick up exactly where you left off. They are the ones that just ‘get’ you. These are the long-term friendships that can go through challenges but still founded on mutual love and respect.
The majority of friendships probably fall into the top two categories – reason or season. By definition these friendships aren’t bound to last for a long period of time. Very few of us have a large number of friendships that class as the last category, lasting a lifetime.
When we consider the changing nature of friendships as entities that are constantly evolving, starting and ending, we can begin to find our peace and appreciation for them.
Friendships will start and end many times over in our lifetime. When we come to terms with that we can find a place of love for ourselves that isn’t hinged on the approval or quality of the people around us.
We can ‘know’ that the transient nature of friendships is a strength. AND we can take a look at just where those people fall within the reason, season or lifetime model.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Could you apply this reason, season, lifetime model to your friendships (past and present)?