March 30, 2010

The Ebb and Flow of Friendship

Recently, over the course of the last six months, I have had the pleasure to experience the slow, torturous death of a friendship I never thought would end (especially not like this). It was a very hard six months to wrap my head around why she did this and what where her motivations and was it my fault, blah blah blah.
I also got to thinking about friendship.
Over the years, especially as we get older, frienships take hold and friendships dissapate. I think it is natural and normal for people to come and go in your life. However, there are some (like myself) who hold on to relationships based solely on the history and length vs. the health of the relationship.
In this case, looking back, although she was a support through some really tough times, near the end it was an unhealthy situation. The person I intially became friends had changed. She valued different things, she was moving towards a life that I no longer respected, and she was someone I could no longer trust. No matter...I still appreciated the security of knowing that in a town of people I didn't know, I had one relationship with someone.
But is that the healthiest choice? If we don't align ourselves with those we are friends with, does this negatively affect our health?
All I can say is that over the last 6 months, I have gone through much stress, sadness, and anger. I continue to remain angry and know it may take time before this changes.
I do believe it is important to acknowledge all the good things that friendship provided and forgive the rest..in time. I also know that when you need a certain relationship to help you along in life, that person will suddenly be there to provide support and friendship. Conversley, when you move into another phase of your life, chances are, that person will also move along. It is the ebb and flow of friendship.
When it comes to health, research does suggest that having at least one connection with another person will enhance your health and decrease your risk of illness. Connection is very important. However, if you are holding onto friendships that are beating you up, unexcepting of who you are as a person, and/or going against your own beliefs and values, perhaps it is time to clean out your friendship closet.

...just a thought on friendship and health. Now I must go out and find new friends.

Kathi

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