Monday, April 4, 2011

Friendships 102-Letting go

There are different philosophies that I adopt and I am not always sure why. It always start with a line... A phrase that just sticks with me. I can’t always explain its meaning at first or its inception, but some part of it just resonated as “right” with me. So I hold on to it until it has a chance to develop and play out in my life.
My longest standing philosophy when dealing with people has been “See people for who they are. Then either chose to accept them in their entirety or let them go, but don’t expect them to change.” I never understand why people get mad at others for being themselves. So what your closest friend gossiped and lied about you to other people. When you met her, she was a gossip. It’s not a personal insult to you, it’s a character trait of hers that you [should have] accepted when you decided to make her your friend. Gossips, will gossip. It’s asinine to get angry with them for doing their job. If you can not handle your friends talking about you behind their back, then don’t make those types of people your friends. Sounds simple enough, but people do it all the time, in friendships, business partnerships and the worst of all, marriage!
This morning I was having a conversation with a friend and I revealed one of my newest unfounded philosophies. “SOME people are in your life for a season. Instead of worrying about holding on to them forever, spend the time they are in your life to enjoy them thoroughly”. Learn from them, grow with them, explore new things, new ideologies, sharpen each other. Although the initial thought of strong but temporary bonds of friendship sounds unnatural and wrong... there was something right about it that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
After a highly unproductive day, I fell asleep at 6:00 pm. So now, at 1:30am I find myself awake, reading. And in my read, I finally understood the basis of my “people are in your life for a season” way of thinking. And I was able to tie it into “accept people in their entirety” philosphy in a very eye opening revelation.
A “friend” of mine has been exaggerating facts and volunteering false information about me to others. But when I found out, I was not upset. I was not surprised. I took on the position of “oh, that’s him, that’s just how he is”. I have accepted that side of him and was completely unfazed by it. I know he has a good heart, but like all humans, he has his flaws.
But then I battled with the options bringing it to his attention as a friend, explaining why that reflects bad on his character so he might consider addressing that trait, and just letting it go since there was no harm done and I felt strongly that he will never admit fault. Based on the years I have known him, I was convinced that even if he might hear me, he will get defensive, lie more and make excuses.
But tonight it hit me... So what if he has a good heart? Only fools can’t/won’t accept correction or constructive criticism. When did it become my goal to align my associations with foolish people? [fool is an biblical throwback word that hits pretty hard, so I apologize, but it’s a very accurate term so I retract my apology] And what does it say about my respect for this person’s integrity if I am not even surprised when they lie about me? Why do I have someone in my life that I can’t even expect to value my reputation, be truthful or listen to reproof? The fact that I am not angry is a reason. the fact that I an not surprised is a reason. The fact that I think a conversation about the issue would be pointless is a reason. All reasons to believe that this person’s season in my life is over. I have shared and gained everything I can get out of this friendship and the last leaf has fell from the tree. the seeds of knowledge I have gotten from this experience have already started forming new, stronger bonds. I can’t hold on to a dying stump.
The beautiful thing is that he will always be a part of me and have a place in my heart. I can move on with no animosity or regret. I am grateful for the benefit they have had in my life and I hope they can feel the same about my role in theirs. And without warning or conversation (rightfully or wrongly), I’m closing the chapter on a friendship, happily.


  1. Alex, I love this! I was explaining a similar theory of my own to a friend a few days ago. People seem real reluctant to accept this way of thinking; I'm often met with rebuttals and rants on "forgiveness". But you've explained this so well! You arrive at this junction after you've forgiven and post accepting them for who they really are. It's not a knee jerk reaction...hence the ability to move on without regret and/or animosity. Thank you for this! -Sherell

  2. You hit this nail right on the head. Makes me wanna register for Friendships

  3. I was thinking something very similar today. If you expect people to change for you, it's time to look in the mirror and see what changes you need to make to yourself.
    Also, I believe all relationships are reflective. When you "pick" certain people to be a part of your life it says something about where you are in that life, it is either time for you to learn something or admit to an aspect of yourself.

  4. I dig the way you write. There's plenty of self-awareness and reflection in these words. Good shyt.

    Stay free, Stay -Anti-


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