When people leave our lives, it can hurt. Some people leave and it’s a quick burn, like grabbing onto a frying pan when it’s still too hot. Others leave an ache in your heart that is lasting and constant. In all of these departures, friendly and unfriendly, there is always disappointment.
We are always striving to do more, to be more, and to give more. But, we hardly ever hold our friends accountable for letting us down. We often forget to examine our friendships in the same way we examine what kind of friend we are. Are the people in our lives meeting the same standards we have for ourselves?
We hold onto people because of our history with them or because we feel like we need to take care of them. We hope that there will come a time when the friendship is no longer half-hearted or that they listen to understand and not to respond. Sometimes, it just can’t get there.
With these one-sided friendships there comes a point where you have to let go of people who were never holding onto you. When they decide that their time and attention would be better spent elsewhere don’t take it as an insult, take it as a chance to widen your circle and replace the energy.
Our view gets clouded by people who are only in our lives for their own benefit, it makes it hard to keep up with other friendships when you don’t see what the rest of the world sees. In your own time, you will master the art of weeding out the dead flowers. There’s no sense in wasting water on them.
There is a teaching in buddhism about how an evil friend is worse than a wild beast, “wild beasts wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind”. Having even one draining friendship only holds you back from finding people who will last in your life. People who will give as much as they get. People who will never take advantage of you or your story. People who will build with you, not just because of you.
I struggled for a long time before I understood that there can be good in goodbyes. I took every failed friendship like a shot to the chest when in reality, it was dead weight being lifted. Sometimes it takes a while to realize some people just aren’t for you. Their energy will never match yours and their spirit will never inspire you. That’s okay.
Focus your attention on those that bring you peace, people who you can rely on in your worst moments. The climate of your life is not fit for all flowers, even the ones you take care of year after year in the hopes that they’ll bud. Surround yourself with friends who never make you feel used, and water relationships that you know will grow.
And as always, make sure there are a few sunflowers in your garden, souls like sunflowers can grow anywhere.