“Sometimes it takes relationships that don’t last forever to teach us lessons that will.” ~Unknown
I recently had to let go of a friendship I had been in for almost eight years.
In the first few years of knowing each other, we had magnetic pulls. Each time we would arrange to hang out, it was as if time stood still. We talked and shared so much of each other that sometimes five whole hours would pass by as if it had been only minutes.
We texted each other, sent long emails, and would arrange coffee dates when our lives weren’t so hectic. I looked forward to our exchanges because I always felt uplifted when I left. I would walk away with a new inner growth feeling, and I’m sure she felt the same.
When our friendship ended, I had to look deep into how we came together. How we became friends was vital because I realized people form bonds over certain aspects of their lives. Those people we gravitate toward are also a reflection of ourselves. We usually have similar habits, patterns, and interests. We wouldn’t be drawn to one another if we didn’t experience similarities.
I met this particular friend of mine in a healing community. I was in massage therapy school, and I was looking for people interested in being my case study for six weeks. I signed her up and saw her for weekly sessions.
We bonded over our desire to heal ourselves—both on an outer level, sharing what type of diet cleanses we were experimenting with, and on an inner level, sharing mutual healers and spiritual teachers.
As we both made personal and spiritual growth progress, we would encourage each other along the way.
The years passed by, and I started to notice that it was becoming infrequent for us to meet face to face. We became more of a support for each other through just texting. Even the emails dropped off. We lived twenty minutes from each other, yet we struggled to find time to see each other, and when we did, it was usually from my invite.
I soon noticed more and more distance between us, especially as I entered into a deep space of inner healing. The more inner work I did on myself, the more I could clearly see the aspects of the current relationships in my life. People started to fall away.
I discovered that as I found my inner strength and the ability to be true to myself, the people with whom I had codependent relationships were no longer interested in what I had to offer.
My creative gifts were opening up, and I was sharing them. I found this specific friend unable to offer support for my newly found ventures, and she shared critical remarks of what I was doing. She would speak words of upliftment for herself, comparing what she had done to what I was currently doing.
This behavior of hers was the last red flag I needed from that friendship. I had seen plenty over the last year and a half, so we simply stopped communicating. I’m certain she could sense the falling away of our connection, too. We just really had nothing else in common anymore.
This experience had me pondering why these endings occur. I wanted to explore the deeper meaning of how people come together and how they fall apart.
I can guarantee that if you’re human, you’ve encountered these kinds of break-ups. They can be sad and painful, especially if we try to cling to them. In my case, I was fully ready to release the friendship. I saw the writing on the wall early on. More than likely, we could have ended it a lot sooner than we did.
How We Bond
When we create friendships or romantic relationships, we typically bond over specific aspects of ourselves or our lives. Sometimes those bonds are not formed from a healthy space, yet sometimes they are.
When we feel a magnetic pull to another person, that energy exchange makes us want to be in their presence more and more. And the more time we are together, the more we see commonalities in our lives and our personalities. We truly become a reflection for one another, both in positive and negative traits.
Usually, in this grand magnetic charge between two people, we learn lessons from each other to help us grow. Some people say this attraction between two people is there because we have made soul contracts. Sometimes those contracts are short, and other times, they can be lifelong. Looking at it from that perspective can help lessen the pain if a relationship or friendship comes to an end.
Why the Bond Breaks
This last year, I found myself in the endings of two soul contracts. One, with my friend I mentioned, and the other was a boyfriend, now an ex. The deep inner work I chose to do is what caused these bonds to fall away.
I had to look at how we reflected each other and had to look at what we bonded over.
In the case of my boyfriend, we bonded over the pain of both being divorcees. We bonded over the ways we both felt unsupported and unheard by our spouses. But we also bonded over many similar personality traits. We were complete reflections of each other. We mirrored our wants and needs to nurture a partner, our codependent behavior, and our deeply ingrained manipulations patterns.
When I finally decided that I needed to change my life, that didn’t work for him. I was ready to let go of all the dysfunction I had been living with, and he was not. I realized we had bonded over extreme dysfunction.
In the case of my friend, we bonded over personal and spiritual growth. It was a normal, healthy bond. But in hindsight, I can see personality traits we mirrored for one another. We both had issues with speaking up and finding our voices. We both had distrust in sharing ourselves and our gifts with the world. We both had a solid need to be validated by others.
During my intense year of inner growth, I began to share my creative gifts with others. In doing so, I found I was able to support others to do the same. I no longer needed validation, and I no longer compared what I was doing to what others were doing. I celebrated other people having the courage to share themselves with the world because I was doing the same. The fear that was once there was completely gone.
Because she had not reached this place for herself yet, she was unable to support me. We were no longer mirrors for one another. We no longer bonded over our inability to speak our Truth.
In reaching a place of acceptance and peace over the loss of these two people, I had to see and feel the lessons they taught me. They showed me aspects of myself for a long, long time. And in that seeing, I was able to find within myself why I carried those around and how they served me. Once I saw the patterns for what they were, I let them go.
Once the patterns were gone, the connections I had with these two people started to unravel. There wasn’t much left. The strong attractions and energy exchanges were gone.
To say I have gratitude for these two souls is an understatement. They were both profound teachers for me. I loved them both, and I wholeheartedly believe we made soul contracts. I continue to love and honor these people, but from a distance. I no longer have to carry the weight of these bonds, and there is immense freedom in that.
How You Can Move On
If you find you are stuck in a place of not letting go of someone, or you are holding onto anger, pain, and sadness over a relationship ending, I encourage you to try the following.
1. Write down and reflect on what you first bonded over. Don’t skip over this step. You will either see that what you bonded over is no longer serving you, or it was no longer serving the other person.
2. Write down and reflect on the similar behavior patterns and personality traits you had in common with this person. List both the good and the bad, no matter how painful it appears. Be honest with yourself. In doing this, again, you will see that these patterns are either no longer serving you or the other person.
3. Write down and reflect on what this person showed and taught you. Even if it was a painful experience, how did they help you to grow? What were you able to walk away with that gave you new insight or meaning into your life?
As Ram Dass says, “We are all just walking each other home.” His words play out in our daily lives and human connections. The less we cling to endings, the more room we make for new possibilities.
About Raquel Bravo
Raquel Bravo is a writer and an artist. She is the founder of the blog Stillness Within. Raquel is a writer, a licensed respiratory therapist, and a massage therapist. Her hope is to inspire others to look deeper into themselves to reveal who they truly are. You can follow her on Instagram here.