The notion of letting go is common in the context of romantic relationship heartbreaks. Books, movies and the whole entertainment industry have circled about loving and letting go. That is why it's been clichéd.
I want to take a fresh perspective of letting go.
I want to tell you, should you be unaware of, that letting go is not just about romantic relationships, it could also be about letting go of friendships and most importantly, letting go of the old version of you (which I have talked about in the first part of this "letting go" series).
The underrated heartbreak is the "friendship heartbreak". It is a sad fact that as we grow up-- being a teenager to becoming an adult-- we lose some friends along the process. People move to different cities-- because of new work opportunities, or at the prospect of building one's own family, or just because they feel like moving. Friendships grow apart. People grow apart. Your childhood bestfriend may just be a totally different strange new person who comes to your wedding day and greets you with a shy smile, unsure as to why you both have stopped communicating, and totally unsure as to why she made it to your guests' list. Your college roomie and bestie might move to a place on the other side of the globe after college graduation, and then you never hear from her/him ever again. Ever. And you thought you'd still be bestfriends after college.
You go on with your life because people often tell you "life goes on no matter what". So you dismiss the feelings of terribly missing your bestfriend on a stormy Sunday night, missing their warm hugs and their comforting words of "I'm glad we both have each other when thunder and lightning keep us awake at night". How could this person who was once your refuge and cheerleader suddenly be gone from your life, in an instant? It pains you deep inside, you know that. But we often do not talk about friendship heartbreaks, when there are so many people who have experienced it at some point in our lives. Why is that?
The only way to deal with the friendship heartbreak is to let go. Letting go looks different to everyone. But the concept of letting go is this: slowly come to acceptance that your life is constantly changing; thus it is unhealthy to hope for sameness all throughout your life-- from the moment you're born up to your growing old years--everything, like literally everything, changes! This means that your relationships change, too. Accept that. Hold it in your heart. Then let go. Detach. I know it is so difficult to accept that your bestfriend will no longer be your bestfriend or even your friend. It shatters your heart because the love you have for your bestfriend is always the love you extend to your family. Pure. Trusting. Giving. Believing. Loving. Caring. So it breaks you to lose someone you care so deeply about. It is painfully sad, devastating even.
Reality is scary and painful, but in its beautifully ironic way, pain reminds us that we are humans and that our hearts still function. It's one way of telling us: we are alive!
Personally I have struggled with letting go because I am a very "clingy" person and I easily get attached to my circle of friends. As I slowly mature into being an "adult", I have come to terms with the idea of losing friends as something that happens to all adults-- it is normal. As a people-pleaser in my teenage years towards my early twenties, I found it difficult to accept when some close friends are no longer in my circle. But now I see it clearly: friends come and go so as people in our lives, and change is the only constant thing, really.
Right now, I can say that I am close to fully letting them go: my closest friends way back in college who I no longer kept in touch with now, for different sorts of reasons. Some moved to different time zones and some are "out of reach". It's difficult to wrap my head around the idea that I no longer have them in my life now, but if I want to move forward, I have to accept and let go. It's the only way to be at peace and content: to embrace that change is what remains as we transition stages in life.
How about you? Have you let them go yet? How do you feel about friendship heartbreaks?
This original article is written by Jong, the blogger behind writetowander.com. All photos are hers, too.
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