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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    The Weight of Letting Go of Friendship: Unshackling Oneself from Memories

    When a friendship has shifted and changed, we can find it hard to let go and move on. When the connection is still strong in your memory but not in reality, it can be difficult to accept the changes, no matter how long they last. However, learning to help yourself through these times can be tremendously powerful in giving you the strength to find new relationships and cherish the ones that you have.

    Putting away bittersweet memories can be like navigating a steep mountain, slick with uncertainty and worry. You can only press forward, unanchored, never truly sure of what may come next. It’s a difficult balancing act between holding onto something you desire and letting go of something you never should have hoped for. There’s an irradiating sense of nostalgia that warns us against completely letting go. Our mind makes canny allusions to the past, creating an atmosphere of grief, yet a longing for what has been lost.

    Parting with a former version of someone due to changed priorities or paths is pain in its purest form, sending jolts of misery and doubt through every part of your body. There’s a reverberating scream in the silence, a reminder to all that though we cannot choose who stays, who goes, and when, we can choose our response.

    This journey of letting go is all the more shattering when our desires speak louder than common sense. Loneliness weaves its way through the days and hours, settling into the depths of our being, accompanied by grief and sadness. And yet, this feeling isn’t fleeting; it can linger indefinitely, often leaving us with a sorrowful sentiment that holds us back from making further steps ahead.

    Though this can create periods of disconnecting, they shouldn’t keep you from or deter you from living your life. Being impacted by this type of circumstance is completely normal and understandable; however, allowing the hurt to siphon energy away from the present moment can be profoundly powerless. During these moments, it’s perfectly acceptable to remember the good times and feel the emptiness. It's okay to cry, rage, and just feel, but don't stay there. Spend time alone and focus on yourself, call out for help from those closest to you or from professionals, and do whatever your heart leads you to without shame.

    Once we’ve taken the moment to turn inward and process, we can make the choice to shift our mindset and commit ourselves to finding joy in each new day. While we should take time to mourn and heal, we must actively strive to make the days better than the ones that came before. From this healing, we find improved balance and appreciation within our lives.

    No matter where we find ourselves after letting go of the memory of a certain friendship, we will undoubtedly be better equipped for the experiences that come our way in the future. Through difficult times, we may find solace in the knowledge that what was once lost can never be truly gained again. By coming to appreciate both the losses and the gains in our interconnections, we produce an understanding that transcends material things. We gather courage to be vulnerable and let go yet again, regardless of the repercussions. With each parting, we get closer and closer to understanding what it means to let go.

    No matter how lost or alone we ever feel, our most profound connection is always within. We possess an inner resilience that we can draw on at any time. It is possible to find peace and happiness even after our friends moved away and life shifted. The truth is, though it hurts now, the process of letting go and learning to adjust can be one of the most valuable experiences of our lives.

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