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Archive for September 4th, 2009

It’s interesting how we manage to cope with different degrees of reciprocity in some of our relationships but not in others. This troubles me because it must signify the kind of non-acceptance of reality that I strive to overcome in my life.

There are friends I meet up with two or three times a year, and that works fine. I accept the relevant degree of maintenance those friendships require and don’t feel either neglected or resentful at the looseness of the bond.

Then there are other friends whom I don’t see a lot of, and don’t hear much from, who have me positively welling with upset and resentment. I am acutely aware that any contact we have is due to my making the effort, failing which it would literally wither on the vine. The bottom line is that I mind. The good news is that I mind that I mind…

It occurs to me that my response to these situations must simply be based on a desire for things to be different from how they are, even though I know it is not a winnable fight and it takes energy that could be better expended on other things. A more desirable principle would be to choose not to continue to make room for anyone in my life who does not want to be there: volunteers only – no conscripts.

It hurts to let go of people, especially if you have experiences in common and it is not your choice to let them go. But it is dysfunctional to hang on to them if it is crystal-clear from their behaviour that you are not as important to them as they are to you, especially as every time you focus on these relationships you are likely to feel disappointment and rejection.

So I am going to try to let go of them. Maybe instead of feeling disappointed and rejected I can view these retired friendships as completed cycles, storylines that have run their course having achieved what they were born to achieve for both participants. I think that way more happiness lies than to sit unhappily wishing that whatever it is weren’t so.

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