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Letting Go of Relationships that Hurt

I’m a firm believer that everyone enters our life for a reason. Some bring hope, some bring a lesson, and often we bring something that helps them along on their journey as well. Some people come to share our lives forever, and some come for just a short time. It’s hard to know the difference sometimes, and sometimes it’s hard to know when to let go.

But one thing I do know is this –

When a relationship begins to HURT more than it HELPS, it’s time to look more closely.

As I said in my post last week, What Do You Want MORE Of, as I’ve gotten older, I have less time and energy for pretty much everything, so I choose to focus my limited time and energy on the things that bring me joy. Most of the time this is pretty simple, but sometimes it’s not.

You see, as people who give freely by nature, we tend to assume others do the same. We see the best in everyone to the point of blinding ourselves to the truth sometimes. And here’s the truth, as hard as it might be to hear –

Not everyone loves the way we do.

When we love, we love without limits, with no conditions or expiration dates, so it’s difficult to understand how love could be any other way.

But sometimes it is.

I have a dear friend who I love with all my heart. It’s as deep as any family connection I have. It’s the type of friendship where I would do just about anything in my power to see them happy. I would drop everything and race to their side if they needed me.

And yet…

It’s one-sided. And it’s getting harder and harder to lie to myself about that.

But when a friendship starts to hurt or drain, when our love and support are not reciprocated, or only reciprocated when it’s convenient for the other person, sometimes we have to do the hardest thing –

Love. Ourselves. More.

Because here’s the thing. While relationships and friendships can hurt from time to time, hurt shouldn’t be the norm.

Have you ever had a friend who, every time you interacted with them, you felt completely EXHAUSTED afterwards. I’m not talking the “We stayed up all night laughing” kind of exhausted. I’m talking about the “Holy smokes I need a nap and I have no clue why” kind of exhausted.

It might not be noticeable at first, but over time, if we’re paying attention, the pattern becomes undeniable.

Here’s the deal – You and I give by nature, and in a loving friendship, that giving is more or less balanced. But that exhausted feeling, for me, tells me that I’m giving away loads of my energy and it’s not being reciprocated. And that’s throwing me off balance… off track.

While it can be tricky to SEE through our rose-colored “I love everyone” glasses, the FEELING is unmistakable. Our bodies are incredibly intuitive.

Healthy relationships fill us up, they don’t drain us. Love adds to our lives, it doesn’t take away. The people who belong in our tribe are the ones who add a spark to our lives, who we feel MORE around - like we can take on the world because they have our backs. The people who see the best in us, when all we see is the crap. THESE are the people who will help us become the best versions of ourselves.

With every ounce of my being, I believe this-

We are here to spread light and love. We are here to multiply the good in the world. And we can’t do that if our energy and love are being drained from us.

This has been a tough week, as I’ve had to make this decision about the friend I love so deeply. I’ve tried everything in my power to find a way to make this friendship healthy, but the truth is, we can’t change people. And we shouldn’t try to. Everyone is on their own journey, and we need to respect where others are on theirs.

And sadly, sometimes our paths have to separate so our journeys can continue.

Ultimately, as much as I may love my friend, I love myself more. I love myself enough to do what hurts most, and that is to say goodbye.

No one said the right path would be the easy path. And sometimes it just plain sucks.

But on the other side of that hurt is SO. MUCH. LOVE. and so much POWER. When we surround ourselves with people who lift us up, together we become unstoppable.

Ultimately, it’s OUR path, and it’s our choice who we share it with.

Thank you for sharing your path with me.

Xx Jen

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