A Simple Practice to Help You Let Go of FriendsJun 17, 2023
Letting go is easier said than done, especially when it comes to letting go of people who are so familiar to us and in the past have been a source of joy and comfort.
Throughout our lives we grow and evolve - consequentially we are faced with navigating these challenging phases where we shed our skin so that we may become the more balanced, true versions of ourselves. This is both uncomfortable and painfully necessary.
Back in December I went through a particularly upsetting stretch of finally letting go of several friends who at various points in my life were so meaningful to me - these were friends from high school and my masters, people who really used to know me and love me for me. Nothing happened, nothing went wrong, there was no drama....just the undeniable realization that we were no longer walking the same path and the relationship had become one sided.
This is relevant to any type of relationship - when it feels like we are forcing something, giving too much, left feeling depleted, etc. This is a sign that we are CHASING as opposed to magnetizing.
The people who are meant for us, who love us and build us up - these are the people who will be a catalyst for extraordinary change and growth in our lives and they'll be drawn to us like moths to a flame (and vice versa).
Again, it's far from easy but we deserve this caliber of connection and when we mindfully let go of people who are no longer aligned with us we create more room for the people who are.
I didn't navigate my own letting go process with nearly as much grace as I hoped I would - when I love people, I love them for life - even when I know it is doing me more harm than good. Part of what finally helped was the realization that it's not about what I was losing - it was much more about what I was gaining. I was gaining a stronger sense of self-worth, the ability to accept what is out of my control, and also gaining more space in my life for the people who are meant to be a part of my life moving forward.
I've distilled a few simple and refined steps to help you navigate this challenge so that it feels meaningful and really honors the relationships you're letting go of.
- First, it's important to ask yourself, "am I ready to let this person go?" If you're not ready, that's okay. There is no need to force yourself into something that you don't feel called to yet. If your answer is no, ask yourself why you still feel the need to hold on?
- If you said "yes" to the question above then next step is to put this person aside for a moment and to instead direct your focus towards someone in your life who does light you up. How do you feel when you're with them? What are some of their key qualities that you really resonate with? And if you can't think of anyone who makes you feel this way ask yourself how do you want a person to make you feel? What qualities are you looking for in a friendship or a relationship?
- And finally, take a moment to write a goodbye letter to your friend. There is no need to send it, this is really for you. Reflect on all the reasons why you loved them, how they helped you grow, how your friendship helped you become the person you are now, the lessons you learned from them. End your note by saying thank you, that you won't forget them, that you still love them, and that you're excited about all of the new people you are going to meet and the relationships you are going to build moving forward.
I'd love to hear how this practice impacts you, feel free to send me an email at [email protected]!
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