Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Go where it's warm"

I heard that expression recently and it doesn't have anything to do with Miami, it has to do with friendships. I was talking to someone yesterday about the sadness we feel when friendships end abruptly or gradually fade away. Whether it was our decision to step back or the friend's decision, there is still a certain amount of pain involved.

Friends that you have during a particularly exciting and demanding time of your life, college, your 20's, the early years of being a mom, seem to be people you would always want to stay in touch with, to be close to, but sometimes that doesn't work out. Friends you have as a couple, who seem to be almost family members, disappear off your radar screen and one day you realize that you don't have much in common anymore. The reality of trying to maintain a friendship that's over is too much effort, or too painful, or simply not healthy. I guess in some ways it's like a marriage that isn't working. You may still love that person, you don't want to be hurt, or hurt them, but it's clear that it's time to move on.

With some people you might not be in touch all the time, but you know if you reach out to them they are there for you and you wouldn't hesitate to be there for them. But sometimes, when it feels like an obligation, or there's anger or resentment under the surface, it makes more sense to go where it's warm. Sometimes I feel that I'm the only person who experiences this, that there is something wrong with me that friendships I thought would last a lifetime end, but I know that isn't true. I am filled with gratitude for the friends who do care, who truly want to remain in my life.

A friend of mine, who's in her 80's, told me recently that she and her late husband had a situation many, many years ago that still bothers her. A couple used to invite her and her husband to dessert, after inviting other people to an entire evening, dinner and dessert. She and her husband went a few times and to this day, forty years or so later, she still wishes she had told that couple off. She also gave me this piece a few years ago, which I hung on my bulletin board.

"The Balcony of Your Life"

"Not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in your life. There are some people who need to be loved from a distance.

It is amazing what you can accomplish when you get rid of, let go of, or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-going-anywhere friendships and relationships. Observe the relationships around you. Pay attention! Do the relationships around you lift? Or do they lean? Which ones encourage? Which ones discourage? Which are on the path of uphill growth? Which ones are going downhill?

When you leave certain people, do you feel better or worse? Which ones always have drama? Or don't really understand, know, or appreciate you?

The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love, and the truth around you, the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the front row, and who should be moved to the balcony of your life!

Choose your audience carefully."

1 comment:

anniemcq said...

Wow. I may have to add that to MY bulletin board.

Robin, I hope that we will always be the kind of friends that encourage each other's growth. It is such an honor to know you, and to have known you all these years. You are one of those friends that I cherish more and more as the years go by.