Once a friendship is over – really over – it’s time to let go and create new relationships.
It’s not easy to move on from a friendship if your friend filled an important role in your life or if this was your closest friend. Yet holding onto the past and wishing the present was different will only cause suffering.
I was inspired to write this article as a result of the many readers who shared their heartfelt experiences after reading the article, Why Friends Drift Apart and Friendships End. It’s seems the most challenging part of letting go of a friendship is coming to terms with why it ended. There’s often a missing piece that hasn’t been communicated that makes it difficult to move on. Yet at some point it’s important to let go in order to find inner peace. I hope the following insights help.
Feel the Loss of Friendship
When a relationship ends, it’s a death which triggers a grieving process. It’s much easier to move on once the shock, anger and sadness have been felt and processed. Explore various ways to process and release charged emotions.
Sharing with a friend might help, as might journaling or nurturing your hurt inner child. As you touch into painful feelings notice what memories surface. Current experiences often piggyback on earlier trauma. Did the end of the friendship trigger unhealed issues around neglect, abandonment, or rejection? As you bring your loving awareness to these old wounds and express the emotions, the current experience will lighten as well.
Consciously moving through the grieving process will support you to get to a place of acceptance. This will free you up to make new friends.
Be Grateful for the Gifts of Friendship
When a friendship is over, we often focus on what’s missing in our life instead of being grateful for what we gained. When we see all the gifts we received from our long or short term encounter with another human being, our spirit is lifted and we can let go a little easier.
Reflect on all of the fun, learning, healing and growth you experienced as a result of having this person in your life. Perhaps you received unconditional love and encouragement which helped you build your self-esteem. Maybe you were comforted each time you experienced a crisis. Or perhaps your friend supported you to express your gifts and talents, or helped you lighten up when darkness encroached.
Whatever gifts you received as a result of this friendship, notice how they’ve helped you to be the person you are today. Those aspects won’t go away just because your friendship ended – as you nurture them within yourself they will continue to grow and blossom.
See the Bigger Picture
Even though you may not understand why the friendship is over, know that there is a higher purpose in place. On a soul level we come together with people for reasons that we don’t always see on the surface. Once the purpose of the relationship is achieved, the friendship may end as well. On a body level it will feel painful, but on a soul level we see the bigger picture. If we use our intuition, we can discern what really happened.
For example, if a person plays the role of supporter and cheerleader to a friend’s growth and success, once this friend achieves their goal and is fully owning their power, the friendship may not be needed anymore. It may be too awkward to change roles. Or let’s say one person continually puts their friend first and plays a caretaking role. At some point when they tire of the imbalance they will naturally shift their focus. If their friend doesn’t adjust to the new healthier dynamic, the friendship will be over because the two people don’t resonate at the same level anymore.
To gain a better understanding of why your friendship ended and see the bigger picture, turn off your analyzer, sink into your body, and listen to your heart and soul for insights.
I hope these suggestions help you to find inner peace. Please share in the comment section if you have any questions or further insights on how to move on once a friendship is over.